My husband took this photo of a Christmas market stall, complete with holiday lights and moose head, in Stuttgart, Germany. At this annual Christmas market, tourists and locals alike gather to buy ornaments and handmade gifts, enjoy tasty treats and absorb the joyful spirit that seems to pervade every corner of the market square.
You can find Christmas markets in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. There's a lot to see and do; you can shop for gifts or stop at a food and drink stall to buy warm beverages and sweet snacks.
North American Christmas markets typically run through mid-December, although you might be able to find one in your area that stays open until the weekend before Christmas (for example, the Denver Christkindl Market runs through December 22 this year). Since the European Christmas season lasts through January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, you will find some Christmas markets, including those in Innsbruck and Rome, open through that date. Others, including Nürnberg, Germany's famous Christmas market, close on Christmas Eve Day.Read more about Germany's Christmas markets and Christmas markets throughout Europe.
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Photo © Steve Parode