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									                     LIFE & LIVING
                     LIFE & DÉCOR
                                                                                                                            COMPILED BY
                                                                                                                            ML&S! Décor Editor
                                                                                                                            Kristin Dennewill

THE BEST CHRISTMAS                                                                                                

                                                                                                                            Phone: + 34 619 656 058

As I write this, I am looking forward to my visit to London in three weeks time    other and you can just feel that it’s a special time – even a palm tree looks
to attend the Spirit of Christmas fair at Olympia. If you are anything like me,    exceptional decorated with lights!
all you need is a few days of cold weather, beautiful holiday decorations, and     And since we live in Mallorca, where the rest of Europe is just a hop, skip and
a bit of mulled wine to get into the holiday spirit! I’m planning to do a bit of   a jump away, I want to tell you about some of the best European Christmas
Christmas shopping, but primarily I’m looking for beautiful holiday decora-        markets going on across the continent. These cities are all fabulous places
tions for myself and clients. A big part of why I love Christmas time is the       to visit anytime of the year, but they’re especially stunning during the holi-
ambience. Everything is more appealing with decorations that only come out         days, so it’s a great excuse for a weekend away. You will have such a great
once a year, lovely scents wafting out of the kitchen, people are nicer to each    time you won’t be able to help yourself from getting into the holiday spirit...

01 STRASBOURG 28 Nov - 31 Dec
The Christkindelsmärik began in 1540, as a result of the fighting between the Protestants and the “extravagant” Catholic traditions, which were very at-
tached to the names of saints, to replace the market of St. Nicholas. Located in the city center, around the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Place Broglie, there
are wooden stalls selling traditional tree ornaments, Nativity figurines and edible specialties such as pretzels, bredele cookies and Flammekeuche (a thin
pizza of bacon, onions, and crème fraîche). With caroling choirs, Nativity plays, an ice rink, music concerts, and boat rides through the city, you won’t be
short of things to do during your weekend in Strasbourg. Again, be sure to check their website for info on travel discounts.

02 NUREMBERG 27 Nov - 24 Dec
With over two million visitors from across the world, the Nuremberg Christmas market is no small affair. There are around 200 stalls decked out in candy-
cane stripes which compete for the most beautiful and tasteful design, so plastic Santas and recorded muzak are a definite no-go. The offers on sale in-
clude crafts, toys, ornaments and decorations and there is plenty available to keep your energy levels up, including spicy gingerbread, roasted sausages
and the all important glühwein. And don’t miss the “Nuremberg Plum People”, little figures made from walnut heads, fig torsos and plumb limbs.

03 PRAGUE 29 Nov - 01 Jan
There are two great Christmas markets in Prague, one on Wenceslas Square and the other on the Old Town Square, set around a giant Christmas tree,
a manger scene and a small petting zoo. I always thought Spain had the market on beautiful and detailed Nativity Scenes, but the Czech’s have also
turned this into an art form and even have a museum housing the largest mechanical scene in the world, the Krýza Nativity Scene. At the markets, you’ll
also be able to see some live Nativity scenes, as well as some lovely Christmas decorations, wooden toys, Bohemian crystal, handmade jewelry, and the
famous Czech marionettes. And if bearing the yuletide crowds is a chore for you, you’ll have ample opportunity to reward yourself with some delicious
local specialities.

04 VIENNA 14 Nov - 24 Dec
If you love Christmas and all the atmospheric magic that goes with it, then you really need to indulge yourself with a visit to the Christkindlmarkt in
Vienna. Located in the Rathausplatz, with the spectacular Rathaus City Hall as a backdrop, the caliber of the 140 stalls is very high and you’ll find bees-
wax candles, wooden toys, glass ornaments and holiday treats such as fresh gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and traditional Christmas punch to keep you
warm and toasty. As the home of Haydn and Strauss, Vienna organizes more than three dozen advent season concerts, and invites choirs from around
the world to perform Christmas music on the weekends. No wonder that it receives over three million visitors each year!

05 BRUSSELS 27 Nov - 03 Jan
This city goes big during the holidays and has activities for the whole family to enjoy. Brussel’s big square, the Grand Place, is decorated as a musi-
cal and illuminated fairyland with a sound and light show, there’s a skating rink which covers more than 1000 sq meters and small children even have
their own rink. The Christmas Market itself, located around the Bourse, the Place Sainte Catherine and the Marché Aux Poissons, includes 240 wooden
chalets with artisans selling Christmas gifts, handmade crafts and gastronomic delights such as mussels, Belgian fries, waffles, chocolates and that
famously powerful, Belgian beer. Be sure to check their website for info on accomodation and travel discounts.

06 DRESDEN 26 Nov - 24 Dec
I still remember the exquisite hand-blown Christmas tree ornaments my mom brought home from this market many years ago. The Striezelmarkt, which
began in 1434, is Germany’s oldest continuously running Christmas market. The star of this festival is a four ton fruitcake, so if you’re a fan of stollen,
this is the market for you! And if you enjoy shopping for handmade crafts, this market has the best Germany has to offer. Top artisans from across the
region will be on-hand with wooden crafts, indigo-printed textiles and pottery, wickerwork, lace, paper Advent stars and those beautiful glass ornaments.

                               BALEART 04 Dec - 08 Dec
                               And locally, we have the fantastic Baleart handcraft fair, held every December at the airport fair-
                               grounds. A showcase for beautifully handmade products from the Balearics, you’ll find ceramics,
                               leather items, embroidery, wrought iron, restored furniture, wood crafts and gourmet food prod-
                               ucts, among other things. A great opportunity to see the wide variety of crafts made locally, as well
                               as pick up some lovely Christmas gifts.
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