The holiday season is approaching – or, more appropriately, already here! As soon as the Christkindl Market appears at Kitchener City Hall, I know that I have to start thinking about the gifts and trappings of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
My family members have, for the most part, resided in Kitchener-Waterloo for their entire lives. I grew up visiting the Christkindl Market with my mother and grandmother. It was very nostalgic to attend Christkindl as an adult; all the crafts, food, and clothing looked more interesting from a taller frame of reference.
Christkindl is a collection of German traditions in downtown Kitchener. Think of Bavarian Beer Nuts and marzipan pastries on a massive scale, mixed in with jewelery stands, marionette makers, and soap purveyors. This year, there were also some outdoor displays. An artist was working on his ice sculptures along King St. A man on stilts was juggling for the children, while Christmas songs played on a portable stereo attached to his back. There were apple fritters and a collection of singers performing various Christmas hymns alongside skaters enjoying an ice rink.
Although there wasn’t any snow on the ground during the event, the chilly air was considerably warmed by the festive spirit of the Christkindl Market. Running four days the first week of December each year, it’s a festival that should not be missed by local Kitchener-Waterloo residents and tourists alike!