Girls on Wheels celebrate a German tradition

A toast to the Christmas season from Lois Reinhart, Susan Hebert and Vicki Baker

A toast to the Christmas season from Lois Reinhart, Susan Hebert and Vicki Baker

Vicki Baker

For more than 600 years, communities in present-day Germany and Austria have celebrated the holiday season with Christkindlmarkte, translated as Christmas Markets. Unable to resist an opportunity to join in this German-themed street festival, the Girls on Wheels headed to Texas Christkindl in Arlington, Texas for our December outing.

Celebrated during the four weeks of Advent in Europe, the Christkindlmarkte originated in the middle ages in German-speaking Europe. With Arlington’s relationship to its sister city, Bad Konigshofen, Germany, the Texas market had its first season in 2011. Inspired by this cherished German tradition, the enchanting Texas Christkindl Market is one of the largest open-air holiday markets in the Southwest bringing us the magical feeling of the season.

The Market featured a unique shopping experience for traditional handcrafted gifts and collectibles straight from Germany along with authentic German treats and eats, holiday beverages and festive music. Throughout the village there were authentic, wooden holiday market huts, several straight from Nuremberg, home of one of the oldest and most well-known Christkindl markets in the world.

The holidays are a time for reveling, and we took delight in the mulled wine, which screamed holiday season. We savored the hot beverage seasoned with hints of cinnamon, clove and orange zest. But as central as drink is to the market, it played second fiddle to culinary treasures such as traditional German brats, sauerkraut and apple strudel. None of these disappointed our hungry bellies.

The holiday market was the perfect place to do some gift shopping. We happened upon magnificent treasures made by skilled craftspeople and spent several hours browsing the various “shops” filled with handmade arts and crafts, ornaments, woolen clothing, clocks and more.

Christkindl Market was the perfect addition to our holiday festivities with a transformed European village of wooden huts, twinkling lights and sounds of the season in an old world atmosphere full of German favorites putting Christmas cheer into our hearts. Frohliche Weihnachten!