I wanted to have a real German-style Christmas market this year at South Pond—one just like the traditional Weihnachtsmarkt. I used to go to in Germany. I have wonderful memories of the time Carlyle, my oldest daughter, was one year old and my brother Tom came to visit me in Hamburg where I was living.
The Alster, the main river through town, was frozen, which was very unusual; this part of Germany is so close to the North Sea that it doesn’t see as much cold but has more than its share of rain and damp. The occurrence was cause for a celebration! The Weihnachtsmarkt, usually at the river’s edge, was set up out on the ice! It was awash with people who arrived in droves to experience the frozen Alster: on skates, pulling children in sleds, strolling arm-in-arm to enjoy the smells and sounds.
All the traditional goodies were on display: gingerbread, greenery, crafts, straw and wooden ornaments, and of course the mainstay of the market—hot sausages with mustard and glühwein (mulled red wine) served plain or with a schwips, which means a shot (of what I’m not sure). Carlyle was bundled in her buggy, and Tom and I wandered around, sampling everything in sight. I can’t say I remember every detail, but I do remember that it was a lot of fun. (My recommendation is to sample the glühwein but forget the schwips.
Having the market here on the farm that I dream about is a bigger undertaking than I can manage right now. (And needless to say, local laws related to food and drinking while strolling are not quite as liberal as they are in Europe.) On my recent trip to Germany, I noticed that, like here in Canada, Christmas tends to creep into fall decor.
The difference is that German Christmas ornaments and greenery are so simple and beautiful, largely based on what nature provides. I came home inspired and when metal artist David Hickey and fibre artist Dale Sutton suggested that I try something Christmassy at the farm, I thought, “A spontaneous, pop-up Christmas market? Why not!”
So yes—South Pond will host aWeihnachtsmarkt, but it will be a little simpler than the one on the Alster. We’ll offer food, crafts, holiday greenery, jewellery and art—unique gifts you won’t find anywhere else in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It’s a little European experience and a chance to pick up something lovely, made by hand, made here. A small Christmas gift from us to you.
The Christmas Pop-Up Market will take place Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at South Pond Farms