Christmas markets - yay or nay?
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    Default Christmas markets - yay or nay?

    Do you like to visit Christmas markets? Do you go just for the atmosphere or do you actually buy stuff? What do you buy?

    I haven't been to one for years, mainly because there isn't one very near to us. The one in the town where I grew up has turned into a huge funfair, which I'm not keen on.

    From what I can remember, the stalls look lovely but are a bit over priced and not really stuff that you need...and the crowds make it stressful when you have little ones...

    Or have I just been to a bad one and am being a Grinch?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Do you like to visit Christmas markets? Do you go just for the atmosphere or do you actually buy stuff? What do you buy?

    I haven't been to one for years, mainly because there isn't one very near to us. The one in the town where I grew up has turned into a huge funfair, which I'm not keen on.

    From what I can remember, the stalls look lovely but are a bit over priced and not really stuff that you need...and the crowds make it stressful when you have little ones...

    Or have I just been to a bad one and am being a Grinch?
    I like going and looking but I rarely buy anything! ( Apart from mulled wine and gingerbread to munch as I wander around ;0) ) I too find they are usually full of things you don't really need and I don't really like the crowds!

    Yet I've got friends who love them and go to several every year!

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    When 'Christmas 'German' markets' first arrived in the UK they were really interesting, different, something fun to go to, drinking a glass of warming gluhwein outdoors, eating huge frankfurters with groups of friends, buying candles and small tea light Christmas glasses.....the lights and atmosphere added to the night. We attend the Birmingham one. We only ever go to have the customary look around, usually during the day now as there are always crowds early evening, people popping in after work with colleagues it looks like. The atmosphere isn't the same during the day and in the cold light of day the stalls never look so interesting I feel and when a familiar brummie accent stall holder is selling you the Stolen it takes away the European feel. We have 'been there, done that'. But I do find going in a group is much more fun.
    I took an 8 and 9 year old friends children last year on our way to a concert....they loved the eating junk food outside from stalls idea at lunchtime with Christmas music being played. They loved the stalls of toys too. On our way back from the concert we had to go via the market to get to the train station...it was about 4.30 pm....we could not move...it was a shuffle through situation, I held onto one child DH to another, lots of adults, the children couldn't see anything, people got too close...the feeling when we finally got an escape route was wonderful... I would think twice about taking children at dusk/ evening because of this experience.
    My youngest has been several times to meet friends at the Manchester one, before they go on...he has said it has been too cold to drink beer outside though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    When 'Christmas 'German' markets' first arrived in the UK they were really interesting, different, something fun to go to, drinking a glass of warming gluhwein outdoors, eating huge frankfurters with groups of friends, buying candles and small tea light Christmas glasses.....the lights and atmosphere added to the night. We attend the Birmingham one. We only ever go to have the customary look around, usually during the day now as there are always crowds early evening, people popping in after work with colleagues it looks like. The atmosphere isn't the same during the day and in the cold light of day the stalls never look so interesting I feel and when a familiar brummie accent stall holder is selling you the Stolen it takes away the European feel. We have 'been there, done that'. But I do find going in a group is much more fun.
    I took an 8 and 9 year old friends children last year on our way to a concert....they loved the eating junk food outside from stalls idea at lunchtime with Christmas music being played. They loved the stalls of toys too. On our way back from the concert we had to go via the market to get to the train station...it was about 4.30 pm....we could not move...it was a shuffle through situation, I held onto one child DH to another, lots of adults, the children couldn't see anything, people got too close...the feeling when we finally got an escape route was wonderful... I would think twice about taking children at dusk/ evening because of this experience.
    My youngest has been several times to meet friends at the Manchester one, before they go on...he has said it has been too cold to drink beer outside though!
    I feel exactly the same about the Birmingham market. I usually go with a group of friends as it's become a tradition that we go, but our wander round the market is something we do because it's on while we're there, not the main purpose of the visit. The weekend is all about catching up with friends, eating and drinking!

    I find the market disappointing with a lot of overpriced tat that you can buy in the shops anyway. I do like candles and soaps, which can be a bit different to the ones you usually see, but nothing else really grabs my attention. I remember one year looking at a sweet stall and seeing packets of marzipan sweets selling for £3. I'd bought exactly the same the previous week from a shop for 67p!

    I prefer to stick to Christmas craft fairs or food fairs where you tend to get more unusual things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Do you like to visit Christmas markets? Do you go just for the atmosphere or do you actually buy stuff? What do you buy?

    I haven't been to one for years, mainly because there isn't one very near to us. The one in the town where I grew up has turned into a huge funfair, which I'm not keen on.

    From what I can remember, the stalls look lovely but are a bit over priced and not really stuff that you need...and the crowds make it stressful when you have little ones...

    Or have I just been to a bad one and am being a Grinch?
    I love going to them but detest the crowds. Our local town has tried to do one this year a few nice stalls but mainly food and then a ice rink and a funfair which I reckon would cost about £100 + for my 4 to go on.
    I got a nice personalised Christmas ornament with our names on as I struggle to find anything with the children's names on.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    Went to the Christmas market in Bath last week on my day off - only really went because I had a hospital appointment in Bath that day. I met a friend there and we wandered round the stalls for a couple of hours - we did enjoy choosing some delicious fudge to buy as the man gave such generous free samples and didn't mind opening a different packet if you wanted to try something else.

    I also bought some delicious chocolate wine that I have bought before - I haven't ever seen it in the shops and some beautiful fur lined fox booties for my new grandson - they were expensive but as he already has a big brother I was struggling to buy something that he hasn't already inherited.

    We went down to our towns monthly Independent Artisan market yesterday but they normally have extra stalls at Christmas but this time it seemed to be the "same old, same old" - we did buy some local rapeseed oils and dressings and some chilli jam that we will give to our son in law as he likes nice food gifts, it was absolutely heaving with people but when it's your own town and you know the people you are bumping into, it doesn't seem so bad.

    My brother has asked for my amazon wish list but after visiting another local town on Saturday and seeing how many wonderful independent shops that have closed down, I'm really trying to buy gifts from actual shops, where they employ local people and pay corporation tax so won't be doing an Amazon list this year.

    I think next year we will go down the Secret Santa route for family as it's all getting beyond a joke and just being told what to buy people off lists (or my brother offered to buy his childrens presents for us, to bring for us to wrap up and pay him for) is just taking all the fun out of buying the presents - I get far more fun out of choosing and buying them, than I do from receiving them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post

    I think next year we will go down the Secret Santa route for family as it's all getting beyond a joke and just being told what to buy people off lists (or my brother offered to buy his childrens presents for us, to bring for us to wrap up and pay him for) is just taking all the fun out of buying the presents - I get far more fun out of choosing and buying them, than I do from receiving them.

    My Sister in law and I (married to brothers) suggest this every year but the other siblings in the family don't want to. (They are the ones that tell you exactly what where and how to buy!)

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    Gifts are becoming tricky these days.

    I am Definately in the camp of gifts come from the giver. That's what is nice about giving, small tokens that say I have thought about you....not expectations that the gift has to be what the person wants.
    The surprise personal element is the best bit I think....not clinically planned....or random gifts in a lucky dip.
    If we can make our gifts for family we do, otherwise they are small tokens to celebrate Christmas, thought out especially for the recepient.

    If giving gifts causes issues financially then I would ' cut the cloth to suit'.

    I think I would ignore all pressure or hints from family and do what I want and give within my budget and ideas. I don't expect anything will be said in front of you and all presents will be welcomed really from children if they are bought with that child in mind.

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    We had a market in Knutsford which was lovely and really helped me get into the spirit of things ... we also went into Manchester and looked round.

    We didn't buy much though - it was a bit over-priced! Mostly just food and drink

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    Well I made a point of going to a Christmas market this year. I went to the one on the South Bank, near Waterloo station. It was so disappointing. Admittedly I went in the morning/lunch time - so the atmosphere was never going to be as magical as it would be at night. I also went by myself as it was my day off and at short notice no one else was available to join me. Anyway - what a rip off! Mostly food and whilst some of it did look okay it was all disgustingly overpriced.

    Maybe the ones in smaller, familiar towns feel nicer - like you say hectors house, bumping into people you know. I didn't feel any community spirit at this one.


    Have you been to one, or anywhere else festive this year?

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    I haven't been to any Christmas markets this year, but have been to several craft fairs. One of them was particularly nice with lots of different things that you wouldn't find in a shop. Some bits were expensive, but they had lots of other things starting from £1. I picked up lots of stocking fillers

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    I'm short of stocking fillers this year. I need a market like yours. DD saw a few bits that she really liked last weekend when we were in Tiger but I haven't had a chance to get back there and buy them without her. They already had lots of empty shelves which didn't look particularly festive. The Christmas stuff was on sale for £1. She's finished school now for Christmas and so it's so tricky.

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    We went to the chester christmas market last weekend. I do enjoy the market there. Not as busy there as some others.

    Stocked up on cheese and pork pies and some gin liquers for a friend.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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