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“Gemuetlichkeit” doesn’t translate very easily, but to Germans and our local German-Americans, it roughly conveys a sense of goodwill. Get into the gemuetlichkeit of the season at the annual Kristkindlmarkt at the Beethoven Maennerchor this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Kristkindlmarkt, modeled after the Christmas craft markets of Germany and Bavaria, gets more authentic every year. A new addition will be a German staple: a hot-nut vendor selling pecans (it would be almonds in Germany, but this is Texas) rolled in sugar. Other key vendors include a German baker who sells pretzels rolled in crushed candy, and the best fruitcake in the city, as well as traditional gluwhwein (hot mulled wine), split pea soup, and brats.

In addition to Polish hand-painted pottery and jewelry crafted from 100-year-old buttons, the German Texas Heritage Society out of Austin will present double the usual amount of wooden ornaments handcrafted in the Bavarian mountains — come early, they usually sell out by noon. The Kristkindlmarkt has teamed up with Central Market to create gingerbread hearts frosted with good tidings and suitable for hanging on the tree or mantle.

Admission is free, there’s non-stop live entertainment, and Nikolaus (Santa Claus) will be making an afternoon appearance, so bring the kids. For more information, visit

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