The onset of December means the opening of all the Christmas markets across Germany. Market squares, from the largest cities to the smallest village are filled with small wooden huts selling the most necessary of Christmas gifts and keepsakes.
Some of this year´s personal favourites:
1. Ugg boots. Yes, Europe discovered them about the same time as New York and Los Angeles and has resulted in horrifically expensive, yet not very warm sheepskin-lined boots filling shoe shops from here to Milan. For some particular reason, the high time for this fashion was SUMMER. And they DARE to call Australia arse-about. Unfortunately, the market Ugg boots are rather less of a boot and more of a moccasin without, however, quite reaching that definition. They certainly give every impression of becoming an Ugg boot when they grow up, had they not been slaughtered and offered to middle class Germans before their prime.
2. Candles and Spices. No market can be considered complete without numerous stands selling horrible homemade candles and/or spices. The candles primarily represent animals with just enough similarity to living species to give small children nightmares well into February. These seem to be quite popular with aunts and uncles of said small children.
3. Black paper profile cutouts. Yes, a man sits in his little hut and will, for a set fee, cut a small profile of you out of black paper which you can frame and hang on the wall for your grandchildren to throw out when they loot your house for posthumous effects.
4. Hand painted glass balls with a variety of Christmas scenes. Perfect for that person who has everything. 100% guaranteed to smash into a thousand pieces in the Christmas decorations box when you pack up your tree, so that next year your Christmas may be enhanced by the experience of visting the emergency room with septic poisoning from tiny glass cuts when you absentmindedly plunge your hand in to find the holly.
5. The half meter Bratwurst. In a bun slightly smaller than your hand so the the only way to eat it is at arms length with mustard dripping on you.
6 - 10. Feuerzangenbowle.