Family Traditions: Christmas Village

1:35 PM

christmasvillage

Photo Credit www.facebook.com/christmasvillage

If you are the type of person that absolutely must personalize each and every Christmas gift for those on your list and are always up for supporting small business over the mega-monopolies, then the Christmas Village is the place for you. It is a wonderful outdoor market filled with vendors from all over the world selling their handmade artisan crafts, clothing, and food under tents set up in LOVE Park as well as the new Dilworth Park directly across from City Hall.


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Shopping on my lunch break at the Christmas Village


Although the Village is marketed as a traditional German outdoor market, there are wares from dozens of other cultures as well. There are over 60 vendors selling everything from Bavarian pretzels, mulled wine, and handcrafted toys to fine Indian garments, handcrafted housewares, and intricate ornaments. A visit on a colder night (which we havent had many of this holiday season yet) requires a cup of rich hot chocolate from a local booth and a warn schnitzel from Helmut's bakery. A quick trip at lunch and you can enjoy a hot Bratwurst without much of a line and Philly Jesus is bound to make an appearance and is always ready to pose for a selfie. Centered in the market is one of the most extravagant ornament shop I have ever seen, where Kathe Wohlfahrtsells stunning traditional German ornaments, tree toppers, incense burners, and Hummel figurines. You can even purchase a Christmas tree (along with some adorable wood log snowmen and reindeer) from the tree stand at the rear of the park.

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Trees and Figures at the tree stand
The Village remains open up to Christmas and there are weekly events from its opening at Thanksgiving up to Christmas eve. Santa even has his own little workshop where little one can have their photos taken professionally or simply just meet the big guy (the Christmas Village Santa is BY FAR THE BEST SANTA I have ever encountered!) There is also a wish wall where kids (and adults!) can purchase a special little ornament and make their wish for the New Year. Reading the wishes will both make you laugh and cry at the same time.

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The "Wish Wall" at the Christmas Village

The first year Terry and I visited the Village I was very pregnant and was supposed to be restricted to bed rest, however, I was adamant about seeing the tree lighting ceremony, and, as all out horrible (IMO) the experience was (terribly uncoordinated the entire way that year), we make it a point o visit at least once during the season. And, being that it is only a few blocks from my office, I usually try to pop over a few times myself to pick up a few surprise gifts for friends, family, and...myself! There are just too many things to visit the stands only once, so I am glad there are a few paychecks from Thanksgiving to Christmas, which means I can try to get one of everything I like.

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If you are not in the Philadelphia are this season, check the video below from the Village's website HERE.

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