THERE'S NO HARD transition into Christmas season here like there is in the States. The end of Thanksgiving, black Friday, Cyber Monday, all signal that Christmas season has started...and started abruptly.
But here without that national holiday it just....sort of...shifts. The first sign Christmas is sneaking up is the low-key opening of the Christmas markets. Before the season is over we'll visit four or five of the local markets in various towns and cities. Each outdoor market - opening about a month prior to Christmas - will offer warm food, hot mulled wine or cider, seasonal stands for Christmas shopping and free Christmas cheer.
Our town's Christmas market opened this week, so a few of us trekked down and had our first glasses of warm punch and mulled wine with the smells of winter treats sizzling from the stands nearby.
Which, by the way, is not a bad way to get into the Christmas spirit. Not a bad way at all.