Wanderlust: European Christmas Markets

I am only Christmas spirited if I am surrounded by other people who are literally decking the halls and singing carols 24/7. I need to use other people's excitement as fuel to get pumped for the holidays, and it loks like I found 3 places that will give me a never ending supply of that contagious holiday cheer. I've never been to any of these markets, but one of these Christmases I'd love pack my bags and hit the stalls! 1. Christkindelsmärik Strasbourg, France Nov. 26-Dec. 23 Strasbourg hosts nearly a dozen Christmas markets, but Christkindelsmärik is the largest. Hundreds of artisans sell traditional holiday gifts and handmade items in the area around Strasbourg Cathedral. The market -- first held in 1570 -- is one of Europe's oldest, and thanks to its close proximity to Germany and Switzerland, it's a great place to sample regional dishes and seasonal treats such as spaetzle and grittibaenz, spiced bread shaped like little men! 2. Christkindlesmarkt Nuremberg, Germany Nov. 25-Dec. 24 Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg is one of the world's most famous holiday markets. Dating back to the mid-16th century, this holiday market is also one of the oldest. About two million people visit annually, shopping for seasonal items such as ornaments, tree angels, candles, and Nuremberg Plum People (handheld figurines made from prunes and dressed as beer maids and chimney sweeps). 3. Tivoli Gardens' Christmas Market Copenhagen, Denmark Nov. 11-Dec. 23 Held on the grounds of historic Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen's popular Christmas Market is a wonderland of sight and sound. A Christmas Village offers souvenirs, artisan goods, and local delicacies like aebleskiver -- or Danish pancakes -- and glogg, a warm combo of red wine and spices that's the Scandinavian version of glühwein (mulled wine).

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