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Today's topic :-) Christmas Markets

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Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 13:43

and Christmas spent 'elsewhere'.

With the "European Christmas Market " opening in town today ( wooden chalets or "sheds", depending on your sense of romance) and no doubt more across the country soon, where have you been for Christmas that was really 'different' to your home turf?

I have always rather fancied going somewhere with guaranteed snow for Christmas, proper snow ( been to Austria when there was snow but not at Christmas) gluwein, roaring fire and candlelight :-)


maggiewinchester Report 23 Nov 2017 14:23

Winchester's Christmas Market and ice rink has opened - I avoid it if I can, though may walk into town that way, and pass through it.
It's just so expensive! :-0

I suppose Christmas in Shetland was nice.
Just the two of us, (and the lodger's dog).
A croft house in the middle of nowhere, huge peat fire, Shetland lamb and roast potatoes in the oven, gas light (only in the living room - the rest of the house it was candles). Wine.
Snow - nay, blizzards, a howling gale - and knowing we actually couldn't get anywhere - even if we'd needed/wanted to!! :-S


Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 14:40

Sounds cosy Maggie :-)


Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 14:46

It's not really the ideal location in town, not for a real Christmassy atmosphere, sandwiched as it is between Iceland and Wilkos on one side and a row of restaurants etc on the other. All uninspiring buildings.


maggiewinchester Report 23 Nov 2017 14:47

Winchester's is in the close behind the Cathedral - so quite a nice place - it just gets so crowded :-(


AnninGlos Report 23 Nov 2017 14:48

Sounds nice, romantic even. As long as only for a couple of days. We have only ever spent Christmas in our home, our daughter's home or our son's home. I think, despite the chaos, daughter's home is the best memories as there were the three young grandsons and her lovely OH cooked the meals as usual. I have never fancied a hotel Christmas, that is, of course because there are two of us, my feelings might change if I was on my own. We are quite happy now the years we stay on our own.


AnninGlos Report 23 Nov 2017 14:52

Oh I forgot, Christmas markets. Sadly when daughter lived near Winchester we never managed to get to the Christmas market there, she went and loved it. We do have two very big very good christmas markets in Gloucester at the Docks. We have the Victorian market which lasts from last weekend to the end of November, we then have the Christmas market which lasts until just before christmas. There is a large ice rink there too.


Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 15:01

Sounds nice Ann, both the family Christmas and the Christmas market. I think it helps if it's in a picturesque setting anyway, I used to like going to Rochester around Christmas when we lived in Kent as it always looked festive and Dickensian (in a good way) .


SheilaWestWilts Report 23 Nov 2017 15:07

Bath Christmas market opened today, I think. It's always manic as there are loads of coach trips. Best time is to get there at 10am and stay an hour, or leave it 'til evening. Even worse when there's a rugby match on too!

I enjoyed the Christmas I spent in California - spent the day wandering around Monterey and the surrounding area.


Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 15:14

California, now that's a very different Christmas Sheila. In the sunshine and I'm sure it was lovely :-)


AnninGlos Report 23 Nov 2017 16:46

Sheila we once tried to get to see the Bath Christmas market. We drove to the park and ride our side of the M4, absolutely full, drove to another park and ride, thatw as full too. Drove round all the town car parks and roads where people parked, all full. So we came home and that was earlyish in the morning. We haven't tried since.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 23 Nov 2017 17:31

My parents used to have their annual break at Christmas, simply because Dad was too busy to take time off during the school summer holidays.
We went to hotels in Tenerife or Majorca. I preferred Tenerife because it was lovely & warm. Being Spanish, there wasn’t much fuss made of Christmas Day although the hotels did put on a more decadent evening meal for their guests, with things like lobster as well as the local delicacies.


SheilaWestWilts Report 23 Nov 2017 17:45

Yes Ann, it's a nightmare as Bath is quite busy anyway. I go in on a Tues to do voluntary work and the next couple of weeks will be hellish :-(


Von Report 23 Nov 2017 18:25

We spent Oct - Dec in Germany during 2002 - 2005. I loved visiting the Christmas Markets each one being quite different from the next :-D :-D :-D

Lovely atmosphere especially in the evening.
this was one of my favourites


SylviaInCanada Report 23 Nov 2017 20:55

Our most different Christmas was in Australia 1975 ............ very hot, cousins all insisted on still eating the traditional turkey with everything, so we had to move from sitting in the shade outside into the house (no air conditioning) to be crammed around tables for THE meal. The cousins plated up in the kitchen, didn't ask how much you could eat (I guess they knew for their own families!), so my 21 month old was given as much as I normally ate, my plate looked like OH's, and he ............ well he got into trouble because they'd given him the prize drumstick which usually went to one of the husbands :-D

"He's got my plate!!!"

"shhhhhhhhhh, it's OK"

:-D :-D :-D

Christmas and New Year 1992/93 were spent in NZ ............ not quite as hot, the 3 of us had Christmas dinner on our own, daughter helped cook the chicken etc. It was really nice. Then we spent 3 days waiting for a friend to arrive as she was going to stay in the rented house while we took off for New Year with friends in new Plymouth, and then off to South Island. New year was very quiet, but enjoyable.

I used to love going to my OH's sister for Christmas ...... always snowy in the far north, but the highlight for me (and I am NOT at all religious) was the Christmas Eve Carol Service in the little church outside town.

It was a very small church, no electricity / gas / etc ......... heating was by a wood stove, and lighting was by candles (later oil lamps) and torches. There was seating for about 30 people, but as many as 90 would crowd into the church, filling the little entry, and standing outside on the snowy path.

Someone introduced a Christmas Market here about 5 years ago, never been to it .......... the entry fee seems to be high to me, and little wooden sheds. It used be held on the patio next to the local theatre but last year moved to the area where the permanent Olympic Torch was erected back in 2010, on the waterfront at the harbour. Quite hard to get to, as no buses go very near, little parking, etc.


Nyx Report 23 Nov 2017 21:10

Thanks for replies all :-) if I don't reply (and they are all interesting to read :-) ) it's because I have to be up early and won't be around till late probably.


Allan Report 23 Nov 2017 21:19

Sylvia, it's funny but even after 35 years in Australia I still can't adapt to Christmas here :-(

Most people put up Christmas trees, some real and some artificial, with all the trimmings, but given the heat and the fact that the days are at their longest, the décor lacks any credibility.

I suppose that if you were born here and it is the only type of Christmas you have known then it's fine, but otherwise......

If it's just the two of us we tend to have a turkey hindquarter with salad.

We do make Christmas Puddings in the microwave but tend to freeze them and eat them during the cooler months :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 23 Nov 2017 23:07

Allan .............

i used to work with a woman who had been born in Perth, I think her parents were also Australian born.

Margaret used to talk about Christmas on the beach, with a bbq, her birthday was between Christmas and NY and she always got a new swim suit.

I think you are correct ............. it is hard for immigrants to switch their mindset and memory set form celebrating Christmas in heat to in hot sun.

My 5 cousins all emigrated in the late 50s/early 60s, under the £10 scheme. 3 of the 4 surviving were still cooking "english style" meals when we last visited them in 2006 ............... including well-done meat and soggy veggies!

The children, including all the ones who were born in the UK, seem to have gone Australian, possibly because they all married Aussies.

I still find it funny to get a Christmas card from Australia with robins in snow ............... and even funnier if it is a koala or kangaroo wearing a Santa hat :-D

We now spend Christmas with our daughter, whose husband has declared that he doesn't really like turkey, so we never know what we will have for Christmas dinner ........... but we do have to take a Christmas pudding with us. OH makes 3 every 2nd or 3rd year, then keeps them in the freezer until needed.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 23 Nov 2017 23:15

OHs Aunt/Uncle & cousins emigrated to New Zealand. They were happy to adapt to the climate & cuisine.

Mind you, there was trouble when OHs grandparents visited over Christmas. They were the ones who insisted on a full Turkey Roast etc in the middle of day. :-0


SylviaInCanada Report 23 Nov 2017 23:31

I think daughter and s-i-l were glad when his unmarried sister found other things to do ..............Christmas dinner for that family has been at daughter's for the last 12 or so years, her in-laws have been going down south for the winter since then. We have been going every other year, but we will also be going next month which should have been an "off" year.

The sister's birthday is on Christmas Eve, and the parents always made sure there were 2 separate celebrations. So one Christmas we were there, at the birthday lunch in a bbq restaurant. I went off to the loo, came back and there was this VERY frosty angry feeling hanging over the table. OH just turned to me and made that universal "shut up, don't say a word" face that we all know.

Turned out s-i-l had made a passing remark to the fact that "we're doing duck for tomorrow" ............... and all hell broke loose.

His sister maintained that it "Had to be turkey", while her mother was trying to calm her down.

It was almost 3 pm, stores all close there around 2-4 pm. so we had to beat a hasty retreat so s-i-l could get to the store and see if he could still buy a turkey.

One frozen turkey breast was all that was left ................ he and daughter cooked both the turkey breast and the duck.

That was the last Christmas that the parents spent in Canada, so the sister and her daughter "had" to spend every Christmas with our daughter ....... turkey it was.

Then the sister and her daughter went to visit Mum and Dad down south, the child went away to university, and they did other things.

I'm not quite sure what will happen next month ........... I gather there has been some other sort of family upset, but s-i-l has made this declaration that he doesn't like turkey so they will not be cooking it ever again!