Snow-Globe Christmas: The Monschau Christmas Market

The lingering smell of cinnamon and cloves lured me past the grilled bratwurst and crocks of bubbling Monschauer Senfsuppe (mustard soup), a local specialty, to the glühwein (hot mulled wine) hut where the line was six-people deep. The choices of steaming hot beverages on this winter day were inviting.

Monschau’s buildings and square are decorated for the season.
Monschau’s buildings and square are decorated for the season.

Eggnog, a creamy coffee-based elixir and hot chocolate were all available with a little extra “warmth” from one of the bottles of brandy, whisky or schnapps  lining the countertop. I opted for the glühwein, a Christmas Market must, and happily warmed my hands on the blue ceramic mug as the steam from the cup  clouded the crisp air.

From the church, I heard the familiar sound of Christmas carolers. I sneaked in and sat in the back pew, sipping my wine. I am not sure what was warming  me more … the spirits in the cup or the spirit all around me. As I quietly inched out of the church, a robust woman caught my eye. “Frohe Weihnachten.”  “Merry Christmas,” I waved back. And I meant it.

Although the Weihnachtsmarkt is certainly about shopping, it is also about enjoying the magic of the season: the music, the festivity, the family and the  friendly faces. As I meandered the small alleyways out of Monschau, I was transported for a moment to my own Christmases past, and I remembered what  Christmas was once about for me: A time of believing, singing, my grandma’s chocolate-chip cookies, and a tattered copy of ‘Twas The Night Before  Christmas, the famous 19th century poem by American author Clement C. Moore.

If only I had purchased the braided Santa hat.As I drove back home, a song popped into my head … Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Hark! Could it be I  was cured?! Yes, Scrooge has left the building! Deck the halls because Santa Claus is coming to town!

If You Go

Weihnachtsmarkt Monschau
www.monschau.de

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