Christmas shopping in the United States can be a very stressful task to undertake, riddled with exceptional sales, midnight specials, and early-bird special sales where hundreds of people wait in lines at all hours of the night and day to be admitted to specific stores.  Then the stampede commences.

This kind of behavior is pretty much associated with the US.  We could learn a great deal from the Germans about Christmas shopping.  One of the normal German Christmas traditions has been adopted by some of the states:  the German Christmas market. In late November, several states set up a Christmas Mart usually in an urban location.  Not only do these events offer German traditional items, but they also include food stands with warm drinks, German food such as brats, and goulash. These events usually continue through Christmas Eve.

There are several different names for these special markets.  Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Village, and other special German markets are an integral part of the Christmas season in Germany. 

The following locales offer the top ten Christkindlmarkts across the US:

Christkindlemarket in Chicago, Illinois

This is rated the most authentic Christmas market of its kind in America.  Dates are November 15 through December 24, open daily from 11 am – 8 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 am – 9 pm on Friday and Saturday.  The venue takes over the entirety of the Daley Plaza with a small village of cabins with vendors selling food, handmade gifts, clothing, ornaments and more. Glühwein (served in a souvenir mug), German food like knockwurst, döner and potato pancakes can be enjoyed while you shop for German gifts and gadgets.

Chicago Christkindle Market

Christmas Market in Tomball, Texas

December 13 – 15, 2019 marks the time in which German Texans will be celebrating their Texas German Heritage at the Tomball Weihnachtsmarkt.  Located on the old Downtown streets of Tomball, the Texas Style celebration is similar to a Music Street Festival with continuous live music on 4 stages along with street performers.  Vendors provide German Christmas items, arts and crafts, as well as traditional German food and drink, Glühwein, German beers, Christmas Stollen & Homemade Breads, Bratwurst, red cabbage, sauerkraut, apple strudel, etc.

Tomball Chrismas Market