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. … [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 … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Music Boxes

German music boxes, along with pyramids and nativity scenes, are high-profile Christmas items to be cherished for generations. … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Porcelain and Ceramics

I’d like to say straight out that, whereas I have a certain degree of appreciation for German porcelain, I don’t actually own any. I’ve never shopped for it at a Christmas market and haven’t paid all that much attention to what precisely is sold where. … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Miniatures

In the last post on nativity scenes, I mentioned that some people like to collect the various figures one by one. Frequently these are quite small, which reminded me of all the other adorable miniatures—people, animals, trees, etc.—that I always find myself admiring in Germany at Christmas. … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Nativity Scenes

Nativity scenes: finally, a Christmas tradition that did not originate in Germany. Legend has it that on Christmas Eve in the year 1224, St. Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene outside of a cave near the town of Greccio. … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Stars

Stars are everywhere in Germany during Advent. You see them in churches, in the streets, hanging in doorways and windows, and also in certain Christmas markets shining atop the tented roofs of the merchants’ stalls. And, at just about every market you visit, at … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Pewter decorations

As I wrote in my very first blog post, I can think of no better introduction to German Christmas markets than my own at Munich's Christkindlmarkt in the Marienplatz. But just because I was swept away by the magical surroundings and the wonderful Christmas music, doesn’t mean I didn’t notice all the tempting items for sale in the merchants’ booths. … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Schwibbögen (Candle Arches)

This coming Advent season when I return to Germany, I think my next acquisition at the Christmas markets will be a Schwibbogen, yet another marvel of craftsmanship from those talented Christmas elves in the Erzgebirge. Again, I can’t remember having seen any before the first trip and it was only this last time that I began to zero in on them and think, “Hmmmm, some of these are pretty nice.” … [Read more...]

Shopping the German Christmas Markets: Smokers (Räuchermänner)

One of the best parts of my first trip to Germany at Christmas was encountering so many different kinds of holiday merchandise for sale in the markets that I’d never seen before. Prominent on that list were smokers. … [Read more...]