In Germany, Christmas is something to be celebrated, and boy, do the Germans know how to do it! All across Germany (and in Austria and parts of Switzerland), some of the larger cities create Weihnachtsmarkte, or Christmas Markets, in their town squares. This looks something like a festival and each draws crowds by the thousands throughout the month of December.
As I walked through the market square in Darmstadt, I saw carpenters and shopkeepers starting to erect the booths and displays that will be Weihnachtsmarkte soon. A gigantic Christmas tree awaits trimming. Signs promising gluhwein (warm spiced wine) and Christmas cookies went up. Trucks crowded the market square unloading boxes and boxes of Christmas wares. Weihnachtsmarkte is coming! I can't wait!