(I don't actually)
Officially, I think Christmas should start after my birthday. But it is in full swing in these parts, and I've got to say, I'm getting in to the Christmas spirit. It's hard not to when there are twinkling lights in (it seems) every tree, to light up the dark that otherwise arrives around 4 pm, it's proper cold and there's Germanic treats to warm your hands and stomachs on offer.
Germany, of course, is widely known for its Christmas markets, and quite a lot of the festive spirit rubs off on neighbouring parts such as Eastern France and Luxembourg. I haven't been to the Metz Christmas market yet, but the Luxembourgish version has a distinctly Germanic feel to it. You can gorge yourself silly on bratwurst, rösti, or speck (or fondue, waffles, chocolate...) while sipping glühwein served from novelty mugs, browsing the usual assortment of Christmassy tat and listening to live carols (on a Wednesday night, no less).
|A Christmassy wonderland|
|The view from afar|
|Bit blurry, but you get the idea|
I went along after work with some of my colleagues, and whether it was the company or the mulled wine, we had a lovely time. There were many laughs after Em and I bought "sneeballen" (which I assume is German for snowballs) - a dense shortbread-like ball (folded as though someone had scrunched it up like a ball of paper) covered with chocolate, caramel, nuts etc. It actually wasn't that good, but we got our money's worth in laughs trying to bite into the things. It was nearly impossible to get any purchase! Defeated by the balls...
|Attacking the boules|
|More mulled wine|