German Christmas for the Win!

It’s not that I’m overly competitive… Wait!  I take that back, I totally am. 😳🤣  And Christmas shouldn’t be a competition, I get that.  But if it were, GERMANY would win!  This probably doesn’t come as a surprise as most of our Christmas traditions seem to  have originated here, but seriously, hands down, the Germans know how to celebrate Christmas.  It was such a festive season, I’m not even sure where to begin.  I fear this post could go on and on for days, so I’m gonna try to keep it short and sweet, and maybe just share a ton of photos.  Because it was all so beautiful, magical even.

Living right in the center of Dresden made for the perfect stage to experience all the ins and outs of the many Christmas Markets.  I enjoyed every bit of it; I loved watching them go up, the sights, the sounds, the smells, even sharing my street with all the visitors and the hoards of people.  There was just this wonderful cheerful energy outside, and even if I wasn’t out to experience the markets, they were still right there, and I did.  Even while just running errands.  It was brilliant.

The markets we hung out at the most were the Striezelmarkt, Augustusmarkt, Wiehnactsmarkt at Frauenkirche, and the Medieval Christmas Market at the Dresden Castle.

583rd Dresdner Striezelmarkt

Yes, you read that right.  The 583rd!!!  “The blaze of lights, the scent of mulled wine and Christmas music is spreading through the city: The Dresden Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas market, has opened its doors once again.  Experience the bustling marketplace and traditional Saxon treats of the holiday season in the heart of the baroque city of Dresden.”

Day or night, this market did not disappoint.  Accept maybe if you got stuck there late on a Saturday evening.  It became difficult to see beyond the people it gets so crowded.  So we tried to avoid the most busy hours.fullsizeoutput_df4aIMG_7774IMG_7775

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There were concrete barriers surrounding each of the Markets to protect everyone.  Pretty crazy.

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I love these kids.

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The Medieval Christmas Market at the Dresden Castle

Here, everyone was dressed in period costume, and the stalls mostly sold period type goods.  Jaxon was thrilled to have found a fabulous shield here.  I loved the live music, and the food, and large copper kettles of who knows what!  Jaxon also loved the Knight trapped in a massive block of ice.  It was a totally different feel than the big Striezelmarkt, in a wonderful way.  Great fun.

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The Augustusmarkt

This one is the very closest to our place.  Even if we weren’t headed there, we’d inevitably walk right through it to go anywhere.  The boys found wonderful wooden swords, we rode the Ferris wheel once, and had the best Handbrot, filled with gooey cheese and bits of bacon, it was amazing!

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I’m super excited about the pie pan I bought from this Polish stand.  I love it.

Weihnachtmachtsmarkt an der Frauenkirche

This market is quite small, just lines one street.  But leads from the river right to the Frauenkirche, it really is just lovely.  This is the first market I experienced here, as it opened before the big one, and the food here was a treat.

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These little donut things are sooooo yummy!

Other German Christmas stuff, outside the markets that we loved:

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These stars are everywhere, every home has one or two hanging in a window or outside, and it is just a beautiful sight as you meander through the city or cute little villages.
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Bought this Advent.  We have enjoyed introducing this tradition.  Each Sunday before Christmas we lit a candle and shared a scriptural messages about the coming of the Christ Child.  It was a great addition to our Christmas season.
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The Smoker, so this is the guy I got.  I think he’s pretty cute, we brought him home and lit his little cone on fire, and the incense smelled up my house like a stinky old cathedral.  I was NOT a fan.  And you can’t blow it out, just makes it smoke more!  Hahaha.  So, maybe we just won’t smoke him.  😂👍
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St. Nikolaus came on Dec 6th, fun and all, but pretty anti-climactic for these American kids.  Stockings are way more fun on Christmas morning.  Not sure he’ll come around next year.  😉
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I really enjoyed the local museum and taking in some gorgeous pieces of art about the season. Not necessarily a German tradition, but the masterpiece was HERE in Germany.

Of course we had a good American spin on things as well.  We loved building gingerbread houses with the missionaries, having friends and family visit, and doing some baking.  And in our house, we didn’t eat the poor man’s dinner on the 24th, we had a wonderful Turkey Dinner.  We enjoyed our Christmas Eve attending church services in the morning, we watched It’s a Wonderful Life, and Scrooge, and we Skyped our sweet volunteer in Sakhalin, Russia, and we had a sweet night together discussing and pondering the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.   Along with opening Christmas PJs, we went to bed with sugarplums dancing in our heads!

To complete our festivities, Christmas Afternoon we had a fun soccer game with some local friends (mostly Emily’s friends as she’s the one that really has them😂).

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And if the soccer wasn’t magical enough, Jason managed to head in a corner kick in what appeared to be a slow-motion-glory-shot!  A shot our children’s children will one day tell the tale, for Jason will never let any of us forget it!

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But the thing I think I’ll remember most is just this wonderful group of people right here.  It really was one special season and a very special Christmas for this little family of mine.

vielen Dank Deutschland

 

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