Family Christmas Dos and Don’ts #1 – The Christmas Market
Christmas is a time when you can find endless things to do with the kids indoors, outdoors or behind doors in the comfort of your home. The Christmas Market is one easy outdoor option that gets you in the festive spirit. It can be crowded and cold but still very worthwhile. If you’re headed to the city centre at this time of year, travelling together on public transport can be much more relaxing than being in traffic and finding a place to park.
The large-scale, pseudo-village Christmas Market we now know is a new tradition in Britain, first appearing in the 1980s, but goes back to the 13th century in parts of Austria and Germany. My first encounter with a Christmas Market was in the south of Germany, in Karlsruhe, where I lived for 5 years. It was a welcome place of light and joy for me, as I had just moved from the sunshine of Barbados to a dark, cold very foreign land. I didn’t know many people, didn’t speak the language and was missing my family, especially leading up to Christmas.
Having music, lights and the sweet smells of toasted cinnamon, sugar and spice mixed in with proper, grilled Bratwursts was enough to keep me distracted for a while. Moreover, it became the central meeting point for the city for that time. It was where we congregated after work and warmed up with hot chocolate or Gluwein.
Whenever we visit the Christmas Market here in the UK, even though it doesn’t seem as authentic as fresh Stollen, Thueringer sausages or Pfannkuechen, it does remind me that Christmas is not a time to be alone.
- Go with family and friends
- Support small businesses
- Be sure to try a currywurst
- Go with a buggy at night or when it is crowded
- Mix Gluwein and hot chocolate
- Adopt a German accent and roll your r’s when ordering a Bratwurst
Written by Phil Robinson