After all, this was Chicago’s Christkindlmarket. THE holiday-happening place for handcrafted gifts and ornaments; for one German “Christ-child” responsible for a European tradition of holiday gift giving; for thousands of shoppers like me (and my sister, Lynda) looking for some Old World charm in the middle of the 21st century.
So, what do Russian nesting dolls have to do with Christkindl?
Then again, Christkindl was a bit of a mystery, too, at least before today’s post (and before discovering Steve Johnson's enlightening Chicago Tribune article, "10 things to Know About Christkindlmarket.")
I had no idea Martin Luther (remember the Protestant Reformation?) promulgated the German tradition of a Christ-child (at least in Germany and Central Europe) to replace the traditional catholic St. Nicholas behind all the secular holiday gift giving.
I can tell you that the matryoshkas, the colorful queens of clone available from a Toronto company (go figure) called Gifts from Eastern Europe, just kept bringing on the charm with each recursion of that cherub face and peasant attire; so much charm that I walked away with three Russian nesting dolls, one for each of my youngest grandchildren. I parted with a chunk of change in less time that it took to babble ‘babushka’ three times.
Would you believe in all the excitement I forgot to take pictures of our dolls! Happens every time I spend money.
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