Guest Contributor post by Stephanie Levy
For the last European Christmas market in our series, I'd like to take you on a tour of my local neighborhood market in Munich.
I especially enjoy this market because it is not so overly commercial, and many stands feature handmade items that benefit charities.
I was amazed by the variety of hand-felted items at this stand.
These colorful felt baby house shoes were especially adorable,
while another stand featured all sorts of creative objects and gadgets made out of wood.
Fur caps and wool socks were quite popular this year.
This year was the first time I've seen these hats sold at the German markets.
Glowing candleholders help brighten up the short winter days in Germany.
For those with a sweet tooth, there was a big variety of tempting goodies.
My daughters became huge fans of these cinnamon sugar covered stars.
A trip to the Christmas market wouldn't be complete without indulging in some of the most typical German/Bavarian treats, including: Auszogene (sweet fried dough with powdered sugar), mulled wine for the adults and spiced punch for the kids, and Dampfnudel (a yeasted dough bun that is steamed, and then topped with hot vanilla sauce and cinnamon sugar.)
People all gathered round to view the hand-carved, wooden nativity scene, which is very typical for Alpine culture.
I can't begin to count how many times my children rode this old-fashioned carousel; I believe they could have ridden for hours on end.
Wherever you are celebrating in the world, I wish you a happy, cozy, relaxed holiday season! I hope you enjoyed our little European getaways in this series, and I am sending my warmest greetings to you today.
All the best and I'm looking forward to a great start together in 2012,
Stephanie Levy is an artist and illustrator originally from Memphis, Tennessee, USA, now based in Munich, Germany. She studied art at the University of Tennesee in Knoxville, and the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. In January 2012, she will begin the second session of her new e-course called Creative Courage. This unique online course helps creative women start fulfilling their creative dreams, and include 12 exclusive guest interviews with artists, writers, bloggers, and inspirational women from around the world. They will also be taking a special "virtual field trip" to enjoy art, culture, and design in Barcelona, Spain. To find out more click here.