December 13th: Christmas Markets
Good morning! In honor of the week almost being over and finally time for the weekend again, I decided I would give you an activity you can do this weekend with your loved ones or friends. If you can find the time, and I am sure that you can, you should pack your family into the car and head to a Christmas market (or just go by yourself, absolutely nothing wrong with that). The little Christmas market highlighted here is the H.C. Andersen's Christmas Market, in Odense, you may have heard that name before...
It was an incredibly cute and fun experience. It was this whole area in the middle of downtown that was squared away just for the Christmas market. There were a bunch of little stands that sold everything from scarves to æbleskiver. There was even this slightly noticeable theme of H.C. Andersen to it. There were children and adults walking around representing different characters from his stories, which was quite fun and a little bit different from just your average Christmas market. It's the little things that make the difference, right?
Once again, there is one thing I have to highlight. And that's the goodies you can get during this time of year. I mean half of the booths that were at the market had some kind of delicious treat. Some were bakeries, some were pancake houses, some had candy or licorice, but there was just a whole lot of baked goods. Which makes sense because there are just so many traditional "must have" Christmas baked goods that it's necessary to have more than just one "bakery booth". Another little plus to this; with bakery booths comes samples!! Samples of rye bread, honningkage, and klejner, the list goes on. One bakery even had Christmas rye bread! You may have seen me eating it with avo the past couple of days. :)
We didn't exactly buy much, mostly goodies (shocker right?), but mainly just walked around and took in the Christmasy environment. That in itself was perfect on its own. Sometimes it's nice to just slow down, take a walk with your family (preferably through a Christmas market) and just embrace and appreciate all the magic that the month of December has to offer. Sometimes we forget to do these little things, that in the end, mean more than so many other things.
"Den Gamle By" in Århus is another awesome option in Denmark. This isn't exactly a Christmas market but during the month of December the "Old Town", as it translates, transforms into a town from the past all ready for the Christmas season. What is very unique about this experience is that it is like taking a trip back in time. Taking a trip back to the 1800s (+ & -) and seeing how things were 200 years ago. You can go into all the old houses, which represent to true tradition, and experience different things that occurred before there were iPhones and Xboxes. There were, for example, one store that was suppose to represent a candle maker and another that carved cookie cutters out of wood.
In the middle of "Den Gamle By" there was a house that told the Danish history of Christmas. As you walked through the house you would get to different sections of the house which explained a different aspect of what it was like to live in the 1800s. Some of it related to some of the "firsts" for Danish Christmas traditions, which was quite fun to learn about because of how much tradition means during this time of year. But by the end of it my mom, grandmother and I all agreed that we were grateful to have been born later on. There was a slight creepy factor to the whole experience.
Just like H.C.Andersen's Christmas Market, there were little booths spread around the entire area. They did have many of the same items but here things were kept at a very obvious bar of "old-timey, traditional". Mom even ended up buying a heart shaped honningkage to bring back for my brother, seeing as he is stuck attending school back in the states.
After we had wandered around for a while and looked at everything from old christmas stamps to old song books used during Christmas past, we decided to stop in the little cafe that served traditional food in a very traditional manner. We kept it simple and stuck with the classics, æbelskiver and gløgg! A perfect way to end off a Christmasy afternoon.
So, if you get a chance go check out these Christmas markets, or maybe one of the many other ones that are filling the towns of Denmark during this time of year. Maybe you don't live in Denmark, well lucky for you I'm quite sure there are Christmas markets almost everywhere. One of the joys of the holidays, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, there's always a little Christmas to be found. Happy Christmas-ing!
Have a wonderful December 13th and hopefully you'll find your way back here tomorrow for a new post!
With love, Camille :)