Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…
Nothing says Christmas like a tent full of older people getting faded on glühwein to the lovely sounds of a live polka band. German gatherings are my thing. Denver’s Christkindl Market opens every year on the pedestrian mall at Arapahoe and 16th Street. Clare and I make a point of visiting at least twice each year to peruse the handmade ornaments, contemporary gifts (nesting doll of Beyoncé, anyone?) and stock up on Danish pastries.
Every year, Clare has to talk me out of buying a stein. I already have six taking up real estate in our kitchen cupboards, procured during my days as a college kid in Europe. When do I drink out of them? Never. If you fancy yourself an ice skater, cross the street to find the public ice rink behind the clocktower.
Step inside. The best thing about the market is the dancing, hands down. Strangers lock arms at the long picnic tables and sway back and forth to banjos and trumpets. The braver set takes to the small dance area in front of the stage to do-si-do with their kiddos and wives. It is downright merry.
Pro-tip: if glühwein is your beverage of choice, it’s worth shilling out the $6 to purchase your first portion in the commemorative mug. Bring the mug back with you to the market for less expensive refills. I was feeling smug the second night we went as I sat with my steaming mug, surrounded by folks drinking out of styrofoam cups (they’d run out of the mugs).
As you’re reading this, we’re holed up in the mountains where Clare is from with family and an obscene amount of food. From our family to yours, we wish you the happiest and safest of holidays and hope you’re somewhere cozy with the ones you love too.