Christkindl Shennanigans

December 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Cold weather doesn’t deter the tough people of Chicago from going out and having a good time, which is evidenced by outdoor shopping markets that pepper the Holiday season.  There’s an annual month-long event downtown in Daley Plaza that’s full of lots of food, shopping and beer.  Wait, beer?  Oh yes, these are traditional German American Holiday Markets and they wouldn’t be traditionally German-American if they didn’t serve booze.  This weekend, there was a smaller Christkindlmarket in Lincoln Square, a neighborhood not too far from where I live.  It still featured awesome local vendors, tasty food and cold beer but this one is a bit less touristy. And while the one in Daley Plaza has “warming tents”, this one is entirely enclosed in a giant heated tent, which almost allowed one to forget that the temperatures were hovering around freezing right outside.

My awesome mom came to visit me this weekend so we could tackle some Christmas shopping and we spent most of Saturday wandering around Michigan Avenue, checking out the lights and the sales.  We also found a pretty great burger place that served veggie burgers with their house BBQ sauce (and you know how I love BBQ).  It snowed all day but wasn’t unbearably cold so it was quite picturesque walking around.  We thought about hitting up the Daley Plaza market but decided to come by my apartment, relax for a bit and head to the one closer to here instead.  We managed to catch the same train as a friend of mine who was joining us and we all walked in together (but not before witnessing some middle-aged man slip and bust his ass outside…and so it begins.  Be careful out there people).  This is what we were greeted to:

It was much bigger than it looks

There were tables everywhere set up with local artisans and I saw soy candles, paper products made from elephant dung, gluten-free fudge and a plethora of ornaments, jewelry, gloves, hats and scarves.  There was also a stage set up and the first group looked roughly 16 years old but they played classical Christmas music like pros.  Then a new band came on and they looked like the grandfathers of the first kids but they were pretty good (though a tad loud) as well.  We rocked out to classic rock cover songs while enjoying German beer and food, not to mention the gifts we all managed to snag.  My friend actually bought an insanely adorable baby outfit and she’s years from ever getting knocked up – obviously, some of these things were just too good to pass up.

I also had a couple of drunk German dudes walk up and try to talk to me.  I explained that I didn’t speak German and after telling me how much I looked German, they asked what my heritage was.  I said French and one of them told me he loved me (in French) before they walked away.  While my mom, friend and I did have a few beers, I think those guys had a few more.

We had a lot of fun at the Market and, while I intend on checking out the larger downtown one at some point, I’m glad we were able to catch the smaller one during the one weekend it was here.  And I’m glad my mom and I had such a great weekend – lots of eating, shopping and errand running (I love when the people who visit me have cars – did my first grocery shopping in almost 8 weeks and I don’t even know what to do with all of the food in my house).  There was lots of quality time spent and I know we’ll have some more when I go home for Christmas.  I’m now officially full of Christmas spirit (as well as sugar and spice…or maybe it’s BS?) and even Jack Frost can’t put a damper on my mood!

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