Every year for most of my life, my family makes a trip downtown Chicago in December before Christmas to see the German Market: Christkindlmarket. It’s an annual outdoor market that’s only up right before Christmas in Chicago. It’s always festive, freezing, and magnificent, and so amazing.
As the name suggests, this market is filled of booths selling authentic German-made items – mostly for the holidays. A plethora of ornaments, toys, hats, scarfs, and even food all German inspired. One of the traditions (at least in my family) is to buy a boot full of glug – a ceramic mug in the shape of a boot with the design changing every year filled with hot spiced. I only tried that one year, and now I just stick to getting regular white COLD wine in my boot. I tend to unintentionally make myself colder all the time.
This is the first time in a few years that I have gone with my family, and it’s always so much fun. We start off by packing up bags with hats, scarfs, gloves, toiletries, food, water, and other needed items to hand out to homeless people we see when walking downtown. Then we walk around the market, enjoy some German food (potato pancakes all the way), and then hit other stores we find along the way for some Christmas shopping.
If you’re willing to brave the cold of Chicago, this is definitely worth it.