Everyone collects something. Many of our visitors collect memories, then return again and again to relive them.
We'd love to hear about your favourite Christkindl memories.
Ah, the memories... Your nose tingles with the smells of schnitzel, apple fritters and mulled wine.
Voices singing Silent Night rise and fall. You are entranced and transported.
You are here in 2019, and you are there, 700 years ago, when Christkindl Markets first began in Germany.
You take a selfie with Christkindl, two beautiful Angels and Knecht Ruprecht.
Wide-eyed wee ones delight at the G-scale Model Railway.
Craft workshops and Kinderecke are busy with children and parents
making Christmas keepsakes. Kids marvel at Klaus the antique organ
grinder/concertina player. Blacksmiths warm up the square.
In four days, 30 folk dancers, choirs and bands present nonstop entertainment.
Christmas is about memories – family members who have passed, seeing grandchildren for the first time, proposing marriage to a loved one, and this year, sadly, celebrating the season with family and friends from a distance. For several centuries, German-speaking immigrants have come to Canada. Settler communities, such as the Germans, often leave families and friends behind with little or no expectation of ever seeing them again – of never sharing a Christmas meal, or wishing them Fröliche Weihnachten.
In 1951, the Schlechta Family left war-ravaged Germany for their new home in Canada.* Their ship arrived in Halifax on a rainy Christmas Eve. The rain turned to snow overnight – “It was Christmas morning in a strange, cold land” recalls then ten-year-old Christine.
“For breakfast, I received a bowl of some strange stuff called Corn Flakes. From the staff at the hostel I received a colouring book and wax crayons. I had never seen wax crayons before, as I was used to pencil crayons. I found it was difficult to colour with them and stay inside the lines, but the colouring book kept me occupied for many days. That evening we had our first-ever turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy.” In January 1952, the Schlechta Family arrived via train in Kitchener, Ontario to begin their new life in Canada. Christmas is about memories – some happy, some sad – but always hopeful for a new beginning. *With thanks to the Schlechta Family for sharing their memories with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Want to know more about German immigration to Waterloo Region? Ask your local library to borrow:
Little Paradise: The Saga of the German Canadians of Waterloo County, Ontario, 1800-1975, written by Gottlieb Leibbrandt, published by Allprint in 1980.
New to the Christkindl Market in 2019, The Beyers visited our market direct from Berlin, Germany. The charming duo, Marion and Klaus, sang holiday favourites in both German and English.
Enjoy listening and singing along to the 2019 Christmas show by Marion & Klaus Beyer in Today's Concert.
~ YOU ARE INVITED TO RELIVE THIS MEMORY ~
Sunday, December 20th, 7:00 pm
Turn the light down low, get comfy and tune in to Midtown Radio this Sunday and get transported back to Christmas Eve, 1943.
Over the years, Christkindl Market has had many dedicated friends volunteering to help grow this renowned festival.
Sadly, some are no longer with us and we remember them with fondness and gratitude.
Memories of one of our original photographers, Joseph Vladars
Josef began his adventures during WWII and ultimately settled in Canada where he met his wife during their ocean passage. Josef was a teacher for over 30 years and retired from Cameron Heights Collegiate in 1992. He was generous with his time and in his spare time, loved to photograph his many friends at Christkindl Market. He was a mentor to thousands and a friend to more. The photographic memories he captured in the early years of Christkindl Market live on today.
In Memory of two helpers for 'The Sausage Man,' Bruce Emmerson & Gunther Cweklinskiv
Both started as volunteers at Christkindl Market in 1998. They left this world too soon. Gunther is missed as are his energy and contribution to the Festival.
Bruce Emmerson (right), would say "Change the things you can, and don't worry about the things you have no control over!" Bruce was very involved with The Concordia Club, Oktoberfest, and Christkindl Market!
Memories of a passionate collector and lover of all things TRAINS, Alfred Aldred Sr.
Fred Aldred, Sr. started the passion for Garden Scale Model Railway train displays and after he passed away, he passed it on to his son Fred Jr. and his wife Jenny. Fred built a huge following of kids of all ages at Christkindl Market. The Festival was 4-days long plus it took at least two days to set it all up and a day to take it down. "We watch kids in strollers who later return as adults with with their own kids," he would say.