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The mid-autumn snowfall that cooled the heels of many a Midwesterner this week serves as a gentle reminder that the holidays are rapidly approaching, bringing with them all the chaos of a 12-alarm apartment fire. Shopping malls, crowded roads, endless to-do lists, party planning…let’s just say that bears have the right idea. Hibernation seems like a nice alternative.

Yet with the frantic pace that accompanies the holiday season, there are a few events or locations that – by their very presence – make it all seem worthwhile. I will include Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago as one of these events, and having braved the crowds and some brutal weather in the past, I can honestly say that it is still a great “stepping off point” for my family’s enjoyment of the season.

This year marks the 18th year of Christkindlmarket, a decidedly German-American affair held at Daley Plaza from November 26th through Christmas Eve, and lookers as well as buyers will be able to browse through stand after stand of crafts, ornaments, and miscellaneous merchandise, all with a holiday feel. Authentic German food and drink  are also available, and the entire place (although tightly packed) can give visitors a feeling not too much different than the German Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Theme Park.

If you’re looking to fire up your Christmas spirit, this is an attractive option. However, be warned…the crowds – especially on weekends – can be downright unbearable. It is best to have a plan “B” when you visit, just in case. But with that said, a little inconvenience and a couple of elbows to the ribs shouldn’t keep you from experiencing Christkindlmarket. The time spent will put you in a holiday state of mind.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.