Christkindle or the season of getting ready for the coming of the Christ child finds many folks visiting a distinctly German style market, a Christkindle Market. For the month leading up to Christmas day many cities sponsor a Christkindle Market but the market closest to home is the huge Chicago Crhirskindle Market located in Daily plaza under the watchful eye of our famous Picasso sculpture. The Daily plaza is the perfect space for a market; a large open plaza with plenty of room for many, many stalls and vendors almost all from different areas of Germany specializing in traditional Christmas items for decorating, specialty food items and gifts.
Last week, lucky me, I spent some time at the Chicago Christkindle Market wandering around the stalls, looking for ornaments for my tree and deciding on small gift items for others. Most of the business display their wares in an festively decorated wooden stall where the purchaser stands outside the stall where inside the hut, the sales people do their best to help each customer as quickly as possible. The glass ornament sellers have a building that allows the customer to get out of the cold for a few minutes while orderly filing through the building all the while basket in hand shopping for the perfect ornaments.
The dazzling array of glass Christmas ornament boggled my mind. Any animal, food item, occupation, place, or thing seemed rendered in the thinnest glass, decorated with hand painting and glitter. Truly amazing! and oh so difficult to choose.
Plenty of food vendors offered everything from a complete sit-down meal to street food; hot drinks in commemorative mugs, pretzels, cheese, brats, chocolate dipped fruits, freshly roasted nuts, and German specialty items for holiday gift giving.
The one thing a Christkindle market has in large supply is holiday spirit. There are musicians performing throughout the market at different times. The general atmosphere is of a wonderfully happy group of shoppers. We saw no indication of any harried shoppers everyone patiently waited their turn, rather unusual for shopping in the city but, maybe that was due in part to it being early in the shopping season.
If you have an outdoor Christmas market near you, it’s a wonderful way to do a little shopping and pick up some holiday spirit getting ready for advent.