Why I dislike the Christmas Market


Call me the Grinch if you want. But personally I’m not a fan of the Leipzig Christmas Market, or any Christmas market, for that matter.

Please don’t get me wrong. Its appearance each year does serve to remind me, when I’m having a shitty year, that it’s about to be over. And I do like to get tipsy on the sweet stuff. But then my hands freeze, and someone almost knocks the Christmas mug (dated 2013) out of my hands.

Oh no, you didn't, Pluto.
Oh no, you didn’t, Pluto.

Plus, Christmas market kitsch makes me think of Disney decor somehow, and cringe.

I do know that Christmas markets are probably authentic representations of German culture. Just like I know that certain kitschy pubs in London are probably authentic representations of… London city center. I still find them, these markets and these pubs, over the top and overpriced, with overhyped fare.

They’re tourist traps to me, so to speak, a little like Disney and its faux-authentic magic. Though ones that seem to catch many of the locals, too.

In a bout of related inspiration, I wrote lyrics, sang them against a track, and embedded the concoction into this post. (See the player up top.)

What would the Grinch say about the Leipzig Christmas Market?
What would the Grinch say about the Leipzig Christmas Market?

I am aware, by the way, that this won’t be winning any Grammy awards. I just wanted to illustrate to you, tongue-in-cheek, why I dislike the institution and practice of Christmas markets as they are today.

Because there’s not really a Grinch without a song, or at least a poem.

I sing to the tune of my favorite Christmas piece, aptly and very creatively named “The Christmas Song.” Bob Wells and Mel Tormé wrote it in 1945, reportedly when trying to daydream themselves away from a sweltering summer day. The backing track is from the remix Christina Aguilera performed in 2000 (available on YouTube).

You can check out the lyrics below, and sing along, if you’d like. Or you’re allowed to just hate me. But please do so in silence; I’m a little sensitive.

(Disclaimer: These lyrics come from an amalgamation of Christmas markets I’ve been to in Central Europe. So any similarity to the Leipzig Christmas Market may be purely coincidence – well, you decide.)

The Anti-Christmas Market Song

People blocking off your way to work
Forced to drink Glühwein with boss
The same cliché crap is sung by a choir
Junk food dressed up in shiny foil

Everybody knows the tree looks like a wedding cake
But you get frosted on the way
Useless trinkets priced like an auction
You’ll lose them by the next holidays

You know your mother’s on her way
She wants a load of fatty cookies for her tray
And every bite you eat sits on your hips
And still you spend all your cash on reindeer meat

And so I’m offering this simple rant
That makes me seem I’m 92
But I’d rather have homemade eggnog with friends
Playing carols on YouTube

(Ana Beatriz Ribeiro, 10/12/2017)

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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