Holiday Travel: Weihnachtsmarket and St. Nicholas Day

The secret to relaxing during the holidays is all about the Weihnachtsmarket. 

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When you have little kids in the house summer screeches to an end in September with back to school activities and before you know it we are all dressing up for Halloween. Once we are in to November the days heading into the holidays seem to go into hyper drive and the time goes by almost too fast.

With everything there is to do it is easy to almost forget that the entire reason for traditions and ceremony are to connect us and bring us all closer together. With four kids in the house it can be even more challenging to give them all that special quality time.

Sometimes things just all come together.

Here is our story about how Holiday Travel, St. Nicholas Day, and the WinterMarket all collided in to one great holiday tradition.


Every December I would take at least one morning to go over to Wallace Idaho with our son, Mike, and have a little Christmas shopping excursion just the two of us. We would walk through all the fun little shops in the auspices of getting our Christmas shopping done. What I remember most was spending time looking through the fossil displays and picking out some polished rocks to keep as our own little treasures.

When Mike graduated from High School he had a chance to spend some time in Germany with his friends and he fell in love with the WeihnachtsMarket. It wasn't that it was just a place to shop and pick up a few holiday gifts. It was a gathering place. A place where the community came together on a cold snowy evening, shared a hot apple cider in a great mug, enjoyed the lights, sang songs, and spent a little time just enjoying the spirit of the holidays.


December 6th is St. Nicholas Day. On this day we celebrate the spirit of St. Nicholas and it is a fun day to remember to do something nice for someone else. In some cases it means exchanging fun little gifts of fruit baskets or chocolates and nuts.

So this is where the Winter Market, St. Nicholas Day and Holiday Travel all collide.

We often forget about the charm of traveling during the holidays because we get so caught up in all the "things" that have to be done before the one day. But it turns out that sharing these special times together with friends, family and community can make the holidays even more special.

If you can't get to Germany for their traditional Weihnachtsmarket there are tons of fun alternatives around the US. One of my favorite is Leavenworth Washington. It is a little town nestled in the mountains in central Washington. The entire town is required by city code to maintain a German theme. It is as close to being in an authentic Weihnachtsmarket except that almost everyone is speaking English instead of German. Their "ChristKindlMarkt" is typically the last weekend in November.

But really there are great wintermarkets going on in small towns all over the USA the first weekend in December. I love small town celebrations. They are all about community. Here is a very rough video from one of my favorites.

Take time this holiday season to bundle up and spend time with friends and family building those memories at your favorite Weihnachtsmarkt.


Let us know about your favorite holiday travel places or experiences on the #WhereNext Twitter party sponsored by AIG Travel. 

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