Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Welcome to my *favorite* Chicago Christmas tradition - the Christkindlmarket! It runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You can always find me there on my lunch hour the Monday after Thanksgiving and at least once a week until it closes.

The Christkindlmarket is a German tradition. Each year dozens of German & Austrian craftsmen come to Chicago and set up their wares.
The Christkindlmarket is in Daley Plaza in the heart of the Loop. It's the sight of the official city Christmas Tree as well.

The booths are just incredible! Each year I buy one Christmas decoration (o.k. - maybe two!) I spend several trips deciding what my purchase will be for the year.

The booths start out so full, but will empty by Christmas.

These paper stars glow so beautifully! Should I buy one this year?

I received one of these beautifully handpainted globes as a gift last year.

I should mention that when I was visiting the market last Friday night it was 20 degrees and the windchill was zero. I would take off my mittens for a quick photo and put them right back on. I think my photos would have been better if it was a little warmer...
I could spend an hour looking at this booth alone!

Here's a close-up of some of the beautiful nutcrackers:
There are a few "inside" booths as well, but they were too crowded for taking photos. One is totally filled with beautiful glass ornaments, another with chocolates and candies where I must stock up on Kinder Schokolade for the boys for the year (It's definitely their favorite.)

When I come on my lunch hour I usually get my favorite treat - the potato pancakes - yum! Once a year I splurge for a souvenir mug off Gluwine to warm me up... Here are my mugs from over the years.
Each time I go to the Christkindlmarket, I feel like I have gone on a mini-vacation. All around me are the sights and smells of Germany. The vendors (and many customers) are speaking in German. Now in it's 12th year, I have wonderful memories of markets past - the year my husband and sons were sneaky and bought me a nutcracker. The year my German friend, Sabine and I had dinner at the market and then attended a Jim Brickman concert at the Chicago Theater...
Our city Christmas Tree is so beautiful - 9,000 LED lights, 58 3 foot snowflake ornaments, and 200 globe ornaments. (These ornaments are the size of lawn decorations...)
Next time I'll share some of Christmas decorations with you including my Christkindlmarket purchase...
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
-Luke 2:4-7

Blessings, Patti


Tina said...

what a feast for eyes!! I would love it I'm sure. Oh and definitely, you need one of those paper stars. Just my opinion.

Suzann said...

They do this within walking distance to my house. They did it a couple of weekends ago here. (suburb of Chicago)
I didn't go, but now seeing these amazing pictures, I'm kicking myself and promising that I will not miss it next year.