Christmas Shopping in Seiffen

As I begin this post about Christmas shopping in Seiffen, I realize it has the possibility of being either extremely short or extremely long*. The short version might go something like this. Though Seiffen is by no means a large town, it is home to more than 100 Christmas shops and woodcarving workshops. Most are located on, or not far from, the Hauptstrasse (Main Street). They include … [Read more...]

More of the Best German Christmas Market “Christmas” Souvenirs

Here it is December already and somehow I didn’t get quite as far as anticipated in my catalogue of “Best German Christmas Market Souvenirs” so I’m going to pick up the pace by cheating (kind of) and referring everyone back to a whole lot of earlier posts. Even though you can buy all kinds of presents at the Christmas markets, you've probably noticed that my focus has been on those items that are … [Read more...]

The Best German Christmas Market Souvenirs: Candle Arches (Schwibbögen)

Thanksgiving has now come and gone. Mine was especially good this year because I got to spend it in New York with lots of old friends. I couldn’t resist doing a quick reconnoiter of the Holiday Market at Union Square, New York’s version of a European Christmas market. Much to my surprise, I came across a booth called German Delights prominently displaying a number of elaborate candle arches, or … [Read more...]

The Best German Christmas Market Souvenirs: Nutcrackers & Smoking Men

The next addition to the list of best German Christmas market souvenirs: nutcrackers and smoking men (or Nussknäcker and Räuchermänner) from the talented woodcarvers of the Erzgebirge. Who among us is not familiar with German nutcrackers? If you’re like me, you first learned about them in your childhood, most likely by hearing Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite or possibly attending a performance … [Read more...]

Tax-free Shopping at the German Christmas Markets

Let me preface this post with a disclaimer: I am not an expert on the subject of tax-free shopping at the German Christmas Markets, but I've done a bit of research on your behalf so that, if you do intend to make any kind of substantial purchase, you'll have the relevant facts at your fingertips. According to Berlin.de, Berlin’s official website for visitors: In Germany the amount paid for … [Read more...]

German Advent Calendars

This is a reminder that Advent is only one month away, which means it’s time to think Advent calendars. I’m biased, of course, but to me German Advent calendars are simply the best. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Germany is the birthplace of the Advent calendar. The first were printed on paper and date back to the beginning of the twentieth century. While paper calendars are … [Read more...]

The Best German Christmas Market Souvenirs

I realized this morning that it would have made sense for me to include some introductory remarks about choosing the best German Christmas market souvenirs before writing last week's post on Christmas pyramids. Hopefully, the following excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to the German Christmas Markets: Where to Go and What to Buy will help to set the scene by providing an overview of what to … [Read more...]

The Best German Christmas Market Souvenirs: Pyramids Perhaps?

Perhaps indeed! While it’s not hard at all to compile a list of the best German Christmas market souvenirs, choosing which to put at the top is the real challenge and, of course, very subjective. For me it has to be the Weihnachtspyramide—the Christmas pyramid. If you’re like I used to be, i. e., clueless about pyramids, take a quick look at my post on Shopping the German Christmas Markets: … [Read more...]

What to buy at a German Christmas market

My e-guide The Ultimate Guide to the German Christmas Markets is subtitled Where to Go and What to Buy. Here are a few thoughts from the What to Buy part. Nothing beats the fun of shopping at Christmas markets, even if there’s no way you can ever take home everything that catches your fancy. Daytime is great for browsing and buying; evenings after the lights come on are, if anything, even … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Guide to the German Christmas Markets: Where to Go and What to Buy

Here is the latest version of my e-book, which is now called The Ultimate Guide to the German Christmas Markets: Where to Go and What to Buy.  The original edition was entitled 150 German Christmas Markets: Where to Go and What to Buy  and it's still eminently usable--only the dates have changed for the most parts and some of websites may have different URLs. As best I can … [Read more...]