This year we have enjoyed visiting Bethlehem, PA a number of times-Oktoberfest, Musikfest, Mother’s Day, and today we went for the big one-Christkindlmarkt. As you can imagine Bethlehem takes full advantage of its name and Christmas City is a delight to visit in December. The Christkindlmarkt is held at Steel Stacks in giant tents and has rows and rows of stalls of vendors. For the most part they are artists selling their beautiful unique wares. We had tickets for Breakfast with Santa and it was great (and oh how I wish we’d started doing this years ago.) It was nice to be in the tents before it all opened and arrive when things were quiet. We had breakfast and then met Santa and had our picture taken. I loved how this Santa was styled as a Victorian one!
When we unpacked our ornaments this year we were surprised to find that we’d only bought 2 new ones all year-one from Niagara Falls and one from Hersheypark. But being surrounded by so many beautiful ornaments and Christmas decorations we couldn’t resist getting some today. And we’ve enjoyed Bethlehem so much this year that it makes sense to have ornaments from there to remind us of it. There was a very large section that was a special Christmas shop from Germany. Paul and I were very nostalgic when we recognized not just the style, but the exact ornament we bought in a shop in Brugge, Belgium. In fact, we saw a couple of other things we bought on that same trip, in Amsterdam. I was keen to buy another little wooden German ornament, but yikes! They cost $25 here! Could they have cost that equivalent when we were in Belgium, or is that a hiked up import price? We opted for a small glass ornament instead. At another stall a woodworker had “name icicle” ornaments. To everyone’s surprise they had both Clark and Tabitha. Clark has literally never seen his name on anything on a store, so of course we bought a set of each of our names.
We enjoyed watching an ice sculpture carving demonstration, and also taking pictures in front of this awesome setup.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWe took the trolley over to the historical downtown and had lunch (outside! in December!) and visited the awesome bookstore. There were lots of musicians on the street, singing, and even a band of jogging Santas. A return to the tents and then we headed home. We kept the Christmas merriment going by building a cozy and completely unnecessary fire and watching A Nightmare Before Christmas. It was such a fun and festive day, and I’m always amazed by the sight of those Steel Stacks! //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js