The most interesting part of living here is watching the “TLC” (tender, love and care) that is put forth to celebrating a culture’s tradition. In early November, I woke up with life being normal, but by mid-November, I woke up to the sounds of chainsaws and some twenty massive coniferous trees in my front yard. For those who love Christmas, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that takes us back to the “old-school” methods of doing things.
I watched men chop, saw and stack planks of wood on top of each other to build a gluweing stand. Impressed, I knew this would never fly in the states. I felt any business guru would do a cost-benefit analysis and find that it saves much time to throw up a prefabricated booth. It can be hard to express, but there is a different feeling to Christmas when watching this amount of effort to go into celebrating this holiday.
I felt like a kid again. Growing up in America, Christmas gifts and the usual “blah blahs” can lose its touch especially when chronically busy at work. I know many people who don’t put up trees anymore because it takes too much time out of their busy schedule. How sad, eh?
Hannover’s markets are special to me because they offer a medieval market that takes place next to the small river, the place where Hannover all began. Men and women dress like its 1492 and are ready to slay dragons. Beverages are served in cute brown ceramic cups that look like the local pottery artist made them.
In the traditional stalls, men and women decorate their stalls with slices of woods, chunks of trees, pine tree branches and plenty of ribbons. The best thing about these markets is that it brings back the Christmas cheer for everyone. No longer is Christmas the time to spoil kids with the latest gadgets, but the moment to spend time with friends and family and eat traditional food (vegan and vegetarian food is available).
It’s the time to be merry, forget about financial worries and celebrate the good times in life. Watching the locals’ build the markets are similar to watching a cake bake. You can see it and smell it. Your mouth salivates for it and stomach grumbles with desire. You become impatient and can’t wait for everything to be complete so you can get your hands on it.
This 2015 the markets are extra special because there is no shame in saying the word “Christmas.” Getting to the point where everything today is becoming politically correct, the one thing I respect is this celebration for a holiday that originated in the 1600’s. So it’s not a holiday or a seasonal market, but it’s a Christmas market and the Germans are rich in sticking with their culture.
With whatever happens in this crazy and insane world, the one thing I hope is that the German Christmas markets never change. So in an easy nutshell, this is what it felt like to watch two seasons of the Germans building a Christmas market.