It’s our second Thanksgiving long weekend in Europe, where Christmas is just another part of the ingrained culture of society. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian or Jewish or Atheist or undecided — you will most likely still be visiting these markets regularly to browse and sip gluwein and eat pretzels and other delicious hot stacks at these Christkindl markets. It’s hard to imagine anyone visiting these markets and not enjoying it; the feeling is just so festive and casual, and despite all the alcoholic drinks, we haven’t seen any overt drunkenness or even a single broken mug (which you pay a deposit for, and if you break it, you don’t get your 2.50-3 euro deposit back for).
Chris pointed out something I didn’t think much about last year in Germany or this year in Austria or Hungary. He said that despite the considerable Jewish population in both countries, we never saw a single menorah or Jewish star at any of these markets — or really, anywhere. To be PC in the U.S., we oftentimes will see Christmas trees alongside a massive menorah. In Europe, it’s not about religion — it’s just about enjoying Christmas culture for how beautiful it is. I want to be a part of this culture at this time of year every year for as long as possible.