My life here in Germany, is absolutely wonderful. I don’t mean to completely brag, but honestly, I am having a great time. Now that my knowledge of the German language and culture is improving, so is my general life here. I understand more everyday giving me more freedom and opportunity. The past few months really have flown by. And now with the approaching Christmas season, it is busy and full of Christmas parties, family dinners, and some pretty great food as well.
Christmas time, or Weihnachten Zeit, in Germany is a very important part of the year. It is the season when families come together and celebrate with friends, music, food and drinks. It is so exciting for me to be able to experience this with the Sueltemeyer’s, who almost feel like a second family to me. Beginning in December or late November, all over Germany are something called Weihnachtmarkts.
These are somewhat like huge festivals with Christmas lights, decorations and much more. Various vendors set up small cottage like booths and lights, and sell everything from candles and ornaments, to specialty alcohol and food. Most of these markts have ice skating, curling, and music.
In my city, Cologne, we have many Weihnachtmarkts in different areas of the city. There is a very popular one located along the side of the Dom Cathedral, that is always full of tourists and people from nearby cities. In the Altmarkt (the small historical portion of the city) is another one, which also always full. Friends and families go to these Markets almost every night, to eat, socialize, ice skate, or drink Gluhwein, a special warm wine with spices and herbs (a drink I REALLY don’t care for). These markets are incredibly fun and heartwarming, a great way to face the cold and dark winter that is approaching.