This holiday season, you can treat yourself to a Christkindlmarkt right in your own home. Wondering what a Christkindlmarkt is? Pronounced “Chris-Kindle-Mart,” it’s the German word for Christmas market. If you've never experienced a Christmas market for yourself, get ready to fall in love with a new tradition.
These open-air markets date back to the Middle Ages in Germany, and are now popular all over Europe and in cities around the U.S.Traditionally, Christkindlmarkt is held in the town square at night in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Vendors set up booths where you can get snacks and mulled wine, and people sing, dance, and make merry.
Ready to make a Christkindlmarkt at home — complete with mulled wine?
Creating a Christmas market at home is a chance for you and your family to have some fun while staying indoors this holiday season.
Here’s how to recreate a Christmas market at home, complete with crafts, snacks, and some homemade mulled wine.
1. Take a walk outside.
Christkindlmarkt comes alive at night. Even though it’s cold – particularly in northern Europe where Christmas markets started – mugs of hot wine and cider help to keep out the chill. For your at-home Christkindlmarkt adventure, start by taking a walk outside with your family. You’ll get a healthy dose of fresh air and come back ready to get cozy.
2. Light the lights.
When you get back home, turn on some string lights or light candles in the windows. If you have a fireplace, go ahead and let it blaze. You’ll get warm while creating some mood lighting.
3. Enjoy a mug of mulled wine
Or glühwein as it’s called in Germany. At Christkindlmarkt, you could get a cup of mulled wine at a booth, but it’s super easy to make it yourself. To make mulled wine, simply heat up some red wine, cinnamon sticks, baking spices, and citrus peels. Use these 9 variations on mulled wine recipes from around the world when you want to explore new flavor combinations.
4. Snack on small bites
Christkindlmarkt typically features German and Austrian fare like sausage, potato pancakes, mushrooms, roasted nuts, and Christmas cookies. For your at-home Christmas market, make a bunch of treats and nibble throughout the night. You can enjoy your snacks with mulled wine, or pair these bites with regular wine. No surprise here – Christkindlmarkt snacks pair well with off-dry Riesling – a German wine – or a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Gamay.
5. Make some crafts
One highlight of a Christmas market is going around to different booths and shopping for Christmas ornaments and decorations. At home, you can make your own holiday crafts, using wine corks and bottles. Check out these 5 easy DIY holiday-themed crafts that you can make with the kids.
6. Watch a holiday movie
Christkindlmarkt usually features some kind of entertainment, whether it’s a choir singing carols or a group acting out a nativity play. At home, you can simply snuggle on the couch with a classic holiday movie.