Decking City Hall

Nestled between City Hall and TUCC, the annual Christmas Village presents an array of diverse shops and vendors to help fulfill your holiday entertainment and shopping needs.

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WALBERT YOUNG TTN Lindwurm offers ornate, wooden figurines and decorative items.

If Christmas lights, decorations and ornamented trees make your heart flutter, a great place to further put you in the Christmas spirit is Christmas Village, located at City Hall in Center City. It’s also a great place for Temple students to get some holiday shopping finished before they return home to see family and friends during winter break.

Christmas Village, presented by the German American Marketing Inc., part of the German Society of Pennsylvania, is an annual outdoor holiday marketplace. This medieval market, featuring more than 50 vendors that set up shop in wooden houses surrounding Dilworth Plaza, sells one-of-a-kind keepsakes, European food and sweets.

A young woman working one booth, featuring a collection of handmade leather purses, belts and journals, said a husband-and-wife team from New York City handcrafted everything at the stand. The pair, whose line is named Paul Aude Handbags, participates in several outdoor marketplaces across the United States and in Canada.

These leather accessories, each of which is unique and beautifully crafted, are priced from $20 to more than $150. Despite their high cost, these goods were some of the less commercial items Christmas Village had to offer. And, if you’re too bogged down with finals to check out the Christmas Village this year, you can purchase a wealth of Paul Aude products online, by visiting audeandamy.com.

Bowl Maker, based in Chalfont, Pa., offers a collection of wooden art and bowls. Every one-of-a-kind piece is air-dried and hand turned and are also available online at bowlmakeronline.com. The intricate details in these bowls and wood art pieces, most of which are priced fairly high, create beautiful color and texture not found in traditional art pieces.

Friction Jewelry New York displays an array of handcrafted, real stone rings, charms, cuffs and necklaces at Christmas Village. Unlike most jewelry vendors there, Friction Jewelry offers well-made items that nearly any jewelry lover on a holiday list would be in awe of.

The stand also has hammered leaf necklaces and charms, which can offer some interesting alternatives to regular costume jewelry. Friction’s prices were fairly affordable, with a charm or necklace from the True Leaf Collection – which uses electroforming, a process by which real leaves are coated with a special copper base paint and then dipped in 24K gold or sterling silver – costing a buyer anywhere from $24 to $39.

Christmas Village Grilling Booth serves up the classic German bratwursts, with or without the sauerkraut. Bratwursts are German sausages, usually eaten with sauerkraut or potatoes.

Lebkuchen and Stollen serve a wide range of German Christmas desserts. Lebkuchen are gingerbread cookies, and stollen is the famous German holiday cake. Lebkuchen and Stollen also offer cinnamon stars and spekulatius, traditional German spice cookies.

Christmas Village will be open until Christmas Eve, with scheduled daily performances by Philly artists and bands.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, Christmas Village can be a great place to find something for that special someone this season and a chance to enjoy the winter air in one of the best parts of the city.

Zina Reed can be reached at reed.zina@temple.edu.

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