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Rick Steves' European Christmas: Germany

When it comes to traditional holiday images, Germany's Bavaria is the heartland. Here we'll savor classic holiday themes: glittering trees, old-time carols, and colorful Christmas markets.
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Merry Christmas! To celebrate the season, I'm sharing clips, extras and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves' European Christmas.

When it comes to traditional holiday images, Germany's Bavaria is the heartland. Here we'll savor classic holiday themes: glittering trees, old-time carols, and colorful Christmas markets.

Even though I was determined to limit the shopping focus in our Rick Steves' European Christmas special, I couldn't help but be impressed by Germany's grandest Christmas market in Nürnberg. Like the region's children, we were mesmerized with Nürnberg's quirky, gift-giving Christmas angel, called the Christkind. In an auditorium with several hundred lovingly wonderstruck grade-schoolers, the Christkind held court. Filming the children mob her after she said, "If you're very, very gentle, you can touch my wings," was great TV. (Tomorrow, I'll share a rare interview with this German Christmas angel, and you can watch the full hour-long Rick Steves' European Christmas for free anytime on our website.)