The markets consist of small wooden stalls or huts decorated with sparkling Christmas lights situated in the center of town, usually in an older district surrounded by antiqued, timbered buildings and/or near a grand cathedral. Each stand sales a variety of goods from spices, pottery, specialized handmade and manufactured Christmas decorations, candles and soaps, toys, hats and scarves, wooden products, Christmas cards, etc. There are also carousels, Ferris wheels and other kiddie rides for the young at heart
For me, I particularly enjoy the food. I can smell the schmaltz kuchen a mile away. Try as I might, the sweet aroma stirs a comforting feeling that I got to eat some right then and there! My kids and I have a list of the foodstuff we indulge ourselves in: schmaltz kuchen (triangle dough deep fried and coated with powered sugar), crêpes with sweet or savory filling, simmering mushrooms topic with a garlic sauce, fried potatoes, a variety of bratwurst, soups, roasted chestnuts, roasted candied almonds, just to name a few and of course, the famous Gluhwien, a hot, spicy mulled wine. No dieting allowed at the Weihnachtsmarkt. The glory of eating guilt free.
For the adults the Gluhwein stands are the most popular. The colder it is outside the more a hot mulled wine warms the senses. There are also non-alcoholic punches but the most popular are the hot drinks with an added “schuss”—a shot of a favorite spirit. Groups of friends gather at the market for a night of jollying and celebrating the Christmas season. Everyone is welcomed.
The Weihnachtsmarkt is definitely a national treasure. If you every plan a trip to Germany, consider coming at Christmastime so you can experience the wonderful joy of Weihnachtsmarkt first hand It is well worth it. Merry Christmas.