Old Father Christmas with his mistletoe crown and snowy beard made his way to Potsdam, Germany, turning the city into Yule’s downtown. Even though the stores were mostly closed, the streets were alive with people. The Christmas market in the heart of the city couldn’t be a clearer indication of a jolly Christmas as people were mingling and coming together in the bright lights.
For ourselves, we warmed with a cup of Gluehwein, a cinnamon and orange flavored hot wine punch. As we watched people passing by the barrel we were huddling over, it seemed like it was everyone’s’ birthday as most were breaking into awes, smiles and laughter.
The huts offered a large variety of Buddy The Elf’s four main food groups for the perfect Christmas season: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. Decorated with icing, gingerbread hearts were spreading the love with messages like “Sweetie”, “Best Mum” and “I love you”. One stand alone probably offers enough ginger bread hearts to put together a fairytale-like ginger bread house. (Considering the number of candy stands at the market, Hansel and Gretel might not only find their way to one ginger bread home, but to an entire village.) The sweet smell of caramelized nuts, melted chocolate and fried cakes in the brisk air lay over the street like a fluffy blanket. To me, one cannot enjoy the taste of Christmas without a bag of powder-sugared Mutzen.
The Christmas market, with its carnival-like character, has become more of an event and a meeting place than an actual market. Look here, look there! The attention jumps from one hut to another where people, in thick woolen sweaters and sometimes with reindeer antlers, sell bonbons, dried fruit, glass figurines, candles, jewelry, rare Christmas ornaments and other specialties. Each hut is elaborately decorated with lights and evergreen branches. Some stands have a signature decoration, such as a singing moose on top of a Bratwurst stand, and play their own Christmas music. Mixed with street musicians, the jolly jingles are all around. The true winner of my heart that night was a young boy, maybe at the age of nine, playing songs on his trumpet while a group of Russian singers added some deep notes to the cheery feels.
Old Father Christmas, you have brought out the best of the winter season.
I wish you all happy holidays.