Hello you lovely readers!
Jana asked me if I want to participate in her Bookish Little Christmas series and I immediately agreed. I love reading Jana’s blog and hers was one of the first book blogs I discovered when I started.
But let’s start at the beginning! My name is Karin, I blog over at My Life… and I am living in Austria’s beautiful capital Vienna. If you ever plan to come here, feel free to contact me. I would love to meet you.
Vienna is beautiful over the holiday season. Lights and decorations appear in many windows and basically over night many Christmas markets pop up all over the city. When I was a kid my mum and I started the tradition of going to at least the two major Christmas markets in Vienna each year. Over the last years a lot of new Christmas markets opened, some with lovely arts and craft stands and some, sadly, only selling mulled wine and punch.
For me going to a Christmas market has something magical. Going out when it’s already dark and wandering from booth to booth with lots of other people looking at the crafts, candles, toys, ornaments and other beautiful things people sell, stopping from time to time to buy a hot apple punch or baked potatoes was always something special and a beloved holiday tradition.
My favorite Christmas markets in Vienna always were and still are the huge one in front of the city hall and the much smaller one in front of Schönbrunn castle. There the whole atmosphere with the beautiful castle in the background and the enormous Christmas tree at the center makes this one amazing. Unfortunately it’s always extremely cold there because the wind can blow right through all the stands.
Going to a Christmas market means putting on layers and layers of clothes, getting all warm and cozy with a big woolen scarf, mittens and maybe even a hat (which I hate – don’t ask me why) and enjoy Christmas music, some hot drinks and inhale the festive mood. A must for me whenever I cross a Christmas market, which I usually do when I go to university (I am one lucky girl), is buying some chocolate covered strawberries. I love them so much, the crunchy cool chocolate and the soft and delicious strawberry, and I only eat them (the ones covered in chocolate, not strawberries in general) during Christmas season.
So when you ever visit Vienna during Christmas time, go to the Christmas markets in front of city hall and look at the trees in the park right next to it and you will see lights up in the trees – some incredibly corny, like snowmen, presents or candy canes, and some traditional like red hearts. The tree with the red hearts in it is called “Herzerl-Baum” in Vienna and has been there since I was a child. When those red hearts appear in the tree Christmas season officially starts for me. And if you look closely you can also find a post office in the park where you can post your letter to the Christkind, which basically is the Austrian equivalent to Santa. It does not come through the chimney but it puts up the tree on December 24th and leaves all your presents under it for you to open on Christmas Eve. Before it leaves it rings a bell to tell you that everything is ready. Waiting for the Christkind on the 24th was always filled with lots of anticipation and family fun but the days before will always be filled with visits to my favorite Christmas markets.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and wonderful days filled with family, friends, incredible food and many many books. Also, a huge thank you to Jana for having me here today.
Thanks so much, Karin! I would absolutely LOVE to come to Vienna and experience Christmas! (And to visit you, of course!) Thanks for sharing with us today. :)