Christmas Markets Season 2015

Gnome-Post-Ornaments

Just back from Europe last month, while there I saw the Christmas Markets being set up. There are a reported 1,500 across Germany alone with the traditional European Christmas stands selling mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, sausages, holiday ornaments, and gingerbread. Even some have skating rinks.

Are the fence friends above not adorable? I wanted one while in Passau, but did not know how to get one in my luggage, they are kinda large.

Gnomes are so cute in the garden and as accents during Christmas. I have a whole collection of indoor gnomes greeting visitors on a shelf in front of my foyer’s Palladian window. I have had them for over 30 years. They are hand painted and from Germany.

Christmas-Displays

Even some cities like Nuremberg already had some markets opened for business in mid-November.  Now I am wondering if in fear, thousands of tourists from the U.S. are canceling holiday trips?  How could you not want to experience these markets and little shops?

The Christmas Markets are big in Europe celebrating traditional craftsmanship, local artists and their great baked goods. They highlight local stores and shops which deck out their windows with lavish and eye-catching displays. Look below at the unique items, if you can see them each among all the cacophony of items. Theses bountiful displays are common in the towns. The merchants take pride in arranging and creating the windows. many would not allow images for fear of copying designs.

My friend and I almost chose a Christmas Markets cruise this year. I wonder how they are going right now? I am guessing, the Danube still has low water levels. Talking with the cruise company this week, the woman told me El Niño affects Europe in that area with less rainfall, different from it does in the US, so winter will determine next year’s water levels for cruising.

So are people’s fears for travel warranted? Fears of terrorism at the markets are not without precedence. In the northern city of Strasbourg in 2000, a group of Islamic terrorists tried without success to blow up the Christmas Market. The police stopped it before any bombs went off.

I do believe though that the fear is heightened and driven by the media. The fear that something might happen undermines the sense of joy of the season. Reports from the World Travel and Tourism Council have noted tourism recovers from terrorism attacks rather quickly though. That is good news too, that cute shop below waits for us tourists.

Christmas-Outdoor-Booths

Air and hotel reservations were canceled immediately following the attacks I have read, while the museums, cafés and restaurants have lost business in France. A knee-jerk reaction, but there is probably no place under tighter security right now. So what is in store for the Markets and tourism?

Street-display

A city I was in last year, Prague, cancelled their Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony recently. It is the kickoff to their Christmas Markets in Old Town. This was due not to a known threat, but in case crowds over-react to a loud noise, like a fire cracker going off. Seems to me they canceled more out of precaution.

New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton addressed the video on Times Square by Isis saying, “We understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society. We will not submit.” While the FBI is tracking 1000 active Islamist State probes, they are following 48 of them 24 hours a day, every day. News yesterday, they arrested 56 of them so far this year. Encouraging and good work, but how many do they not know about?

The problem we face is you can’t be sure where or when it will happen. This makes not going places or doing things a wrong choice. I do like de Blasio’s remark, “We will not submit.” We can’t just stop or ruin Christmas. Any readers in Europe? Let us know how the Markets are doing.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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17 Responses to Christmas Markets Season 2015

  1. I do love Christmas in the old world, it has such a special feel to it. Walking through the markets at this time of year is really quite beyond special.

    I am really for the first time just beginning to understand what those who entered and went through WW II must have felt like, what they experienced, and how they reacted to the threats that consumed their lives…Courage takes on a whole new meaning when you truly understand the threat.

  2. arlene says:

    Wish I were there with you. those Christmas decorations are lovely and I love everything about Christmas.

  3. Maria F. says:

    I’m glad you’re home and feeling better.

  4. lulu says:

    I would like very much to go to one of the European Christmas markets. Lucky you!

  5. Emily Scott says:

    There’s certainly plenty of Christmas markets going ahead in London. I went to a Scandinavian evening one recently – so much good food and mulled drinks. You need the drinks to keep you warm!

  6. I love the markets too. It is a shame that there is an element of fear in all we do or is especially edgy at the moment.

  7. Kevin says:

    Love this. Another item on my bucket list. 🙂

  8. It must have been wonderful to be there so close to Christmas. The displays are wonderful. (I would love to buy that peacock skirt in the window!)

  9. I used to love going to the market in Innsbruck. The smell of snow, chestnuts roasting, grilled wurst and mulled wine – sigh. If we don’t go about our normal business then the terrorists have won. Their intention is to disrupt normal everyday life. We should let them dictate our lives. Just my view.I flew from London to Munich just a day after the Lockabie bombing – it didn’t stop me from flying.

  10. A.M.B. says:

    The European Christmas villages look lovely. The fence friends are especially cute!

  11. We are on a Christmas Market Rhine River cruise as I write. No cancellations at all. Not an iota of fear either, just pure delight in all there is to enjoy!

  12. lucindalines says:

    Oh how wonderful, thank you so much for sharing this.

  13. bittster says:

    Valid thoughts and beautiful photos. I’ll focus on the beautiful photos and just say that my brother took advantage of lower airfare and just booked a February trip for him and his family to Germany. I’m jealous!

  14. rose says:

    What fun it would be to visit these Christmas markets–lucky you to be able to visit some of them in November! The only negative would be having to think about how much could fit in my luggage:) As frightening as events around the world are, I think it’s important we don’t give into fear.

  15. I entirely agree. We will be in Los Angeles again from Christmas to New Year’s. Frankly, people are still more likely to be hurt by numerous mundane dangers than they are by a terrorist attack. You can’t let the fear of something that might or might not happen at any time rule your life. Those Christmas Markets do look like fun!

  16. Hi Donna, Yes, the water levels were up on the Rhine, but the company we sail with didn’t cancel any sailings this fall because of water levels. I believe you are referring to a posting on my blog re: a cruise we took back in spring 2014. I truly hope you are able to sail on a Christmas Market river cruise next year! Get well!! Best, Paula

  17. Blogger friends in Europe tell me these markets are just not to be missed…..I would love to visit one someday. And that is the kind of shopping I like…local artisans. I agree Donna, these attacks succeed if we stop activities and travel. I love the idea of a Christmas Market cruise!

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