The end of November kicks off The Christmas Market season throughout Europe. Its a time when cities and villages set up special areas that celebrate the coming of Christmas. These celebrations usually take place in parks or town squares and are comprised of booths selling local foods, holiday decor and other gifts. Typically, they’ll have a children’s area complete with rides, petting zoos and other attractions geared for the kids.

One of the other great things about this time of year, especially around the Thanksgiving Holiday in the US, is that airlines generally offer deeply discounted fares to incent travelers to travel in premium classes to Europe. Last year I took advantage of a $1500.00 business class airfare from home in the US to Nurnberg, Germany to experience their Christmas Market first hand (and to earn enough miles to renew my Star Alliance Gold status level).

When I arrived, I found a town that transformed one of their main squares into a Holiday Celebration that lasts from the end of November and throughout December. Food booths, Spiced Wine Stands, Gingerbread and Gift Ideas were everywhere. The smells of food cooking and wine being heated was unmistakeable. There were easily a couple of hundred places to sample and enjoy the local feel of the holidays. The children’s area was a small amusement park complete with a merry-go-round and other rides. Nurnberg specifically is known for its “Prune People” figurines: a small figure dressed up in various professions, built of prunes, with a walnut for a head. I brought a “Nurse” prune person home for Mrs. LufthansaFlyer (who is a Nurse) and its still sitting on our window sill in the kitchen one year later.

A Typical Booth Found At The Market

Nurnberg's Christmas Market 2010

Plenty of Fantastic Food Booths

Gingerbread EVERYWHERE!

The Famous Prune People Figurines

Gift Ideas of All Kinds......

Holiday Favorites From The Band

A Scene From the Middle of the Market

Another Scene of the Market

One of the Attractions

The Childrens Area

Complete with Merry-Go-Round

And Train Rides......

I was prompted to write this tonight because as I was scouring airfares to Europe, I noticed many fares available on Lufthansa from most US gateway cities to destinations in Germany and further into Europe are at their lowest prices this year. For example, You can fly in Business Class from Chicago to Munich for approximately $1800.00, from the New York Area for about $1600.00. These fares typically require you to leave the Friday after Thanksgiving and you can return almost any day the following week. If you do fly in a premium cabin, you will most likely earn bonus status miles for your frequent flyer account which adds to the benefit of such attractive fares. Usually a business class fare will run between $4000-6000 during other times of the year. Book soon since available seats will start to disappear the closer we get to the holiday weekend.

So why not skip the lines and misery of shopping on Black Friday and take care of your shopping in Europe???? Hop on a plane, enjoy the hospitality of a great Business Class Seat and experience something new that you’ll remember for a long time. You can visit www.christmasmarkets.com and find more information on specific Christmas Markets in Germany and the rest of Europe.

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