Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Our Christkindl Market


Another new/good thing to come out of the unusual times of 2020 was that we held our own Christkindl Market for the first time.  When we lived in Lewisburg, PA, we often attended the Christkindl (or traditional German Market) in Mifflinburg.  We really have missed it these last four years.  This year, because I was doing a Holidays Around the World unit with Honor, I had planned to travel to Mifflinburg when we "visited Germany".  But, alas, this long-running Christmas market was canceled this year due to COVID.

So, of course, we decided to recreate our own version inside our own home....just for us, and it was lovely.

(My mother-in-law Christie even ended up visiting that weekend.)

Here are some of the things we did to feed our nostalgia! My friend Toni who is German shared many of her traditions with us as well...and dropped off authentic German chocolates to help with the celebration. My neighbor loaned us a few mugs that she and her husband brought back from real German Markets they've attended.

Every good German Christmas Market (although I've only been to the awesome one in Pennsylvania) has good food, good music, and lots of booths where you can purchase handmade gifts and such.  The one that we go to has a St. Nikolaus visit, singing, performances by an accordion band    , a giant wooden Christmas Pyramid, and a candlelit parade.

We did our best to recreate some of our favorite parts from memories.

I asked each kid to create a booth with items to "sell".  Each came up with something they wanted to make.  

We didn't actually use money.  I gave each person a certain number of tickets to use at each "booth" which turned out to be brilliant...no pigging out or fighting over stuff!  And the kids felt so grown-up using their tickets!

As soon as Grandma to arrived, we ate, of course...what else, but brats!

I served them in these cute little boxes with Cape Cod chips (our new favorite!) Again, I now want to serve all meals in boxes and with tickets! :)

After eating, we all got our tickets and we went from "booth to booth" as a group to "purchase" our things and/or participate in whatever activity was at each booth.

First we visited Autumn's "booth" to purchase some of her homemade candied walnuts, which were a delicious treat to eat while watching Honor's puppet show.

Next up was Honor.  Honor had spent the days previous making "puppets" out of pipe cleaners and invisible string.  They were like marionettes. (You can see them hanging under the bench in the picture above.) No one could tell what any of the puppets represented, but they were as clear as day to her! :)  Each was a character from the story of the birth of Christ.

She used them in her puppet show to tell us the story of Christ's birth.  I thought it was sweet that she added in these two puppets in the beginning to represent a Grandma visiting and telling her granddaughter this story.  

After the brief puppet show, Honor allowed us each to purchase one of the puppets.  This is the sign she made for her booth.  She also made a stand to hang her puppet on for display purposes.

Our next stop was Val's booth.  Earlier in the day, Val and Honor decorated this tree with small nutcracker ornaments that I had ordered online.  Honor made signs for the booth and everyone was excited to pick one out and buy it with their tickets to keep as a souvenir.


It's a little known fact that I can play exactly one song on an accordion.  So I did that!

The kids were fascinated and all wanted a turn playing it!

Next, we paid a visit to Scarlett's bracelet booth.  She had made red, green, and white friendship bracelets for us to buy.

After that, we headed to the sunroom, where Coy had helped me display some wooden ornaments that depicted parts of the story of Christ's birth.  Since part of our favorite Christmas market includes a candle light march, we turned off the lights and handed everyone a small, battery-operated votive candle and sang Silent Night.  As we held our candles, we also shared some small testimonies and insights about the story of Christ and what it means to us.  Then everyone was allowed to "buy" one ornament to keep.

Next up was the tasting of German Chocolates.  I know Ferrero Rocher is technically not made in Germany, but it's a favorite, so I added it in.  The others as I mentioned were from my friend Toni.  The kids actually really enjoyed this.  A ticket for each taste!  It was brilliant.  We sat around the table tasting together.

Our final activity was not really a German one, I just added it in for fun.  It was like a surprise gift game.

Earlier in the day, I wrapped up a bunch of little treasures...candy and just tiny gifts.  Each kid got a gift for each ticket.  We ended up with two small gifts per child.  The kids were thrilled by this surprise and enjoyed watching each other open and being happy for one another.

This was a really sweet event for our family.  And it was especially cool that Grandma Christensen could join us all the way from Utah (by way of Ohio).  Although she could only stay a short time, we felt a good feeling of Christmas together, especially during our Christkindl Market.

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely fantastic family activity! Thanks for sharing.