Turns out this year added another reason to spurn the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: a deadly Black Friday.

I can assure you, Ellen and I didn't see anything of that sort around here. Christmas markets start in towns all over Germany on Thanksgiving weekend, and we visited three different ones in three different towns. Instead of clamoring over neighbors for the last copy of "WALL-E" or throwing a few elbows to try to grab a cheap digital camera, Germans suffered through the cold to graze through outdoor craft fairs, sipping alcoholic gluhwein and eating pizzas and bratwursts and kebabs, singing and dancing traditional German carols. And while I didn't actually find anything good to buy at any of those markets, they were still a good old time and I was able to do some present shopping on Amazon to snag some decent deals without risking my life or my health.

We'll be heading to Nuremberg this coming weekend to check out their market, which is supposed to one of the best in the country, so hopefully I can snag some cool stuff there

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