Door County Writes: ‘Recollections of a German Christmas Market’

by Heidi Ross

Writing prompt: Tell a story about a time when you were very cold. Help your readers picture exactly where you were and what you were doing. You’re allowed to use the word “cold” only twice!

The winter air crackled with the warmth of Christmas cheer. Wandering around the Christkindlmarkt in my not-quite-warm-enough boots, I breathed in the scent of freshly roasted chestnuts. I loved the cozy atmosphere of the German Christmas markets near our Black Forest home – the vendors peddling their seasonal wares; the soft, white lights circling the booths; the rows upon rows of handmade trinkets. My chilly feet carried me up and down the aisles, pausing here and there to look at beautiful glass ornaments and keep an eye out for the perfect gift for each member of my family. 

Best of all was the booth that offered velvety hot cocoa and crisp bratwurst topped with steaming sauerkraut. I stood in line, hopping from one frigid foot to the other, waiting my turn to purchase the toasty treats.

Then, finding a spot among the packed tables inside a snug, plastic tent, my family and I squeezed ourselves onto a bench to savor our dinner. I slowly started to warm up, feeling flooding back into my legs, but not quite making it down to my extremities. 

Back outside in the crisp air, I scurried over the cobblestones to the remaining booths, trying to see as much as possible before my frozen toes demanded sanctuary in the car. I made one final purchase – heavenly smelling candied almonds – before finishing up for the day. Cold, yet full of warmth.

Heidi Ross is a stay-at-home mom in Sturgeon Bay who spent her teen years living in a tiny town in southern Germany. She has called Door County home for four years.

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