I just got back from a week-long trip to Stuttgart to visit family (which is why it’s been so quiet ’round here lately, speaking of the gift of time!). Spending Christmas in Germany is one of my favorite things; I’m not particularly religious, but there are all sorts of local traditions that make it enjoyable. There are pastries like Stollen and Lebkuchen. There are ornate, hand-carved wooden pyramids, and live candles on the Christmas trees.
And there are open-air Christmas markets, where you can buy a lot of those things. The markets can get a little kitschy (many of them have become major tourist events), with vendors hawking trinkets and schmatta you could find pretty much anywhere. But there are usually at least a couple of stands that sell nice things like hand-made ornaments or the aforementioned pyramids. You can also get hot, spiced GlÃ¼hwein if you get cold, and it’s not uncommon for friends to meet up for a glass or two at night — or during the day.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?