Atlantic Station is playing host to the second annual German Christmas Market, the Atlanta Christkindl Market, through Dec. 23. 

 Christmas markets have been popular in the German speaking countries since the Middle Ages and still attract millions of visitors every season.  The German American Cultural Foundation (GAC-F) organizes the market, which is staffed with volunteers. Wooden stalls, reminiscent of the traditional market in Nuremberg, Germany, line Atlantic Station’s Central Park around the gigantic Christmas tree.  The booths sell traditional foods and imported craft items.

Glühwein, a mulled wine (non-alcoholic versions are available), is one of the traditions of the Chistkindl Market, along with a variety of traditional foods including Bratwurst and Leberkäse (a type of German meatloaf). Traditional sweets are available as well including Stollen, the German Christmas cake, and Lebkuchen, the German gingerbread.  You’ll also find beer, hot chocolate and roasted nuts, another Christkindl tradition.

In Germany, the craft items associated with Christmas often become heirlooms passed from generation to generation. These handmade items are created individually by artisans who live in villages known for craft production.  Be on the lookout for the Räuchermann, a traditional incense burner, and nutcracker figures form Steinbach. Glass items, wooden toys and stuffed animals round out the crafts being sold at the market this year.  

The market hosts activities almost daily so check the Facebook page. Coming up, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus Ensemble will perform on Dec 17 from 6-7 p.m. Porsche, the platinum sponsor of the market, is raffling off five Porsche driving experiences for all those spending upwards of $100 at the market. 

The market is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

Franklin Abbott is an Atlanta psychotherapist and writer.  His latest project is a double album called Don’t Go Back TO Sleep: New Songs and Selected Poems.