The first recorded Christkindlmarkt was in 1298 where vendors sold food during the Advent season. By 1384 villages all over Germany were celebrating Advent in markets selling local foods and crafts. The Christkindlmarkt was a festive meeting place for people to gather and purchase handcrafts such as nutcrackers, ornaments and cakes.

Martin Luther played a major role in our current Christmas customs. He encouraged gift-giving traditions to be held on Christmas Day, which became a boon to all the markets, and suggested that children receive the gifts from “The Christ Child”, the Christkindl. Hence, the name Christkindlmarkt. St. Nicholas came on December 6th to fill children’s shoes with oranges, nuts and cookies while the Christ Child delivered presents on Christmas Day.

Today, Christmas markets are held all over the world, from Europe and as far away as Singapore. And now, we have our first annual Christkindlmarkt in Door County, in Sister Bay, WI, at our historical site, Corner Of The Past at Hwy 57 & Fieldcrtest Rd., to be held three consecutive weekends on Nov. 26-28, Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12.

Our beautiful tree-filled grounds and historic buildings will be filled with artists selling their handmade art, crafts and Christmas ornaments under a myriad of twinkling lights. Imagine the air filled with the fragrance of sizzling bratwurst, roasted nuts, pastries and hot-spiced gluhwein. Children can enjoy Kinder Punch or hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Santa Claus will be waiting in the cozy Anderson House torhear the children’s Christmas wishes while llama’s are grazing outside under the lit Christmas trees. Christmas music fills the air as you stroll through the booths or warm yourself by the fire pit.

There’s no better way to begin the Christmas holidays than to plan a friends get-away-weekend or make new family Christmas traditions as you gather in the warm, friendly atmosphere of the Sister Bay Christkindlmarkt in beautiful Door County.