“Oh, Christmas Twig. Oh, Christmas Twig.”

We have a home in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains and retreat there for the weekend following Christmas. Upon arrival, my kids conduct a stealth mission to find a mangy evergreen in need of a trim. They lop off 2 or 3 feet, scurry home, shove it in a stand and swaddle it in cotton batting in an attempt to keep it upright. We festoon it with a string of lights, some faded construction paper chains, and the handcrafted ornaments the kids made in elementary school – think elbow macaroni glitter-glued to a paper plate. We gather round and “ooh” and “aah” over the Christmas Twig as if it were the one in Rockefeller Center.

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Christmas Markets: Perfect Holiday Shopping

Purchasing ornaments when traveling is a common activity, correct? When I stumble upon a Christmas shop, I tumble in and pick up at least one decoration to commemorate the trip. My favorite is a snow-capped cactus I found in Sedona. A major storm hit while I was there, knocking out the power at the Enchantment Resort. The area’s famous red rocks were transfigured by the snow and I appreciated the event; that is, after wrapping my head around the understanding that there’d be no hot coffee.

Traveling specifically for ornaments is a niche peculiar to the Christmas season. Markets abound here in the States and abroad and browsing through one is an easy way to jump-start your holiday ho-ho-ho.

German markets feature stalls peddling glühwein (mulled wine). I’d like to tell you it tastes better than it sounds, but it doesn’t. And it smells like “Sunday Morning in the Frat House.”

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