Germans invented so many useful things: The Heimlich maneuver, the zeppelin and many of the traditional Christmas elements such as the decorated tree, chocolate treats and the sausage. Look, you celebrate Christmas your way and I'll do it my way. Hermann, Missouri, stays true to its German roots with an annual Kristkindl Markt, which is nothing more than a fancy market that serves as your one-stop Christmas wonderland/shopping destination. Costumed artisans sell sausage (it's the perfect gift!), musicians rocken der glockenspiel, handcrafted household decorations and ornaments are sold, spiced gluhwein is available for purchase — you can go all out, old-fashioned Christmas with roasted chestnuts and persimmon-walnut-steamed puddings, for St. Nicholas' sake. It's just like the Old Country, except it's right here in Missouri. The Kristkindl Markt is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (December 11 and 12) at the Hermannhof Vineyards Festhalle (237 East First Street, Hermann; 573-486-5199 or www.hermannhof.com). Admission is free.
Sat., Dec. 11; Sun., Dec. 12, 2010