Thursday, December 19, 2013

Field Trip: German Christmas Market

         When yesterday dawned clear and (more than) crisp we decided that it was the perfect day to hit the German Christmas Market downtown Vancouver- set up just across from our local CBC studio- the market is a replica of the markets my Mother In Law is so fond of in her hometown. The boy stayed home from school for other reasons and so we felt a little lunch at the market was a good idea- we were all together to take part in what has - for our family- become a physical way for our Littles to connect with their heritage.

       The Christmas market is full of vendors selling all sorts of hard to find ornaments and goodies from Germany and around the world- special chocolates to put into the stockings- yummy treats to eat on the spot. Now while I realise that this market doesn't hold a candle in comparison to the ones in Europe it does the trick- we can have homemade Spatzle, Bratwurst and Mulled wine or beer- hot chocolate and gingerbread. It is small in comparison but our Littles don't know the difference- to them it is about recognition of German culture- the flag, beer steins and advent wreaths just like at Omi's house.

        Of course for us it really is all about the food- such a big part of our connection with their German heritage stems from the food- and again while the food at the Christmas market isn't nearly as good as at Omi's house at least it serves as a reminder- allowing our children to be familiar with it. More than anything I think is the feeling that surrounds you while at the Christmas market- the music and smiles on everyone's face.

       This little slice of Germany at Christmas has become a family tradition for us- while it sometimes seems like a hassle to battle the crowds for a Bratwurst we feel it is worth it. The carousal is always a hit with the Littles and yesterday was a special treat as a stranger gave us free tickets to ride- yay for the spirit of the season and the kindness of others!

        During this busy time of year it is easy to become overwhelmed with a list of things to do a mile long- you know me- I like to keep things easy and yesterday's impromptu lunch date at the Christmas Market was just that. A chance to reconnect and all be together- which is a special treat for us mid-week. A chance to just sit and eat a sausage on a bun in the chilly winter air- toes tingling- on a rare day  of December sunshine!

PS- since we were outside of the CBC we were approached by a reporter to talk about our family's Christmas Eve traditions- of course we talked about how the kids leave the room and then magically St.Nic visits and by the time the Littles get back upstairs he has left a stack of presents under the tree. So if you happen to be listening to the CBC over the holidays you might here us!

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