It’s that magical time of year, the holiday season is upon us. It’s time to deck the halls, string the lights, trim the tree… and do all that shopping before you can finally kick back with some eggnog. This year it’s easy to do your Christmas shopping with Montreal Christmas markets in full swing, markets that reflect the ingenuity and creativity of the people in Montreal who are always ready to celebrate and have a little fun during the holiday season…
December 9-24: One of the most exciting events this year is the International Traditional Christmas Village at Place Jacques Cartier in Old Montreal which celebrates the holiday customs of the world. There will be several indoor and outdoor activities with a gourmet food and drink slant. This year, the focus is on the beautiful region of Alsace in partnership with the French city of Mulhouse. Traditional dishes and local wines and crafts will be showcased in all their sampling splendour. Not only does the village feature delights from the region of Alsace, but it puts a spotlight on Russia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and, of course, Quebec.
At the Christmas Village, you’ll find a section devoted to Mulhouse textile along with a chalet dedicated to traditional Christmas decorations from Alsace- take a gander while enjoying Alsatian handmade chocolates and cookies. How do people in Russia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland celebrate the holidays, you ask? Check out their showcases where you’ll find local delicacies from Europe in the heart of Montreal. I’ve heard that the maple syrup cotton candy is a must. Maybe pair the cotton candy with “Gluwein” at the fortified wine tasting event.
December 9-11: After extensive renovations, the SAT (Society of Art and Technology) is opening their doors to host their annual Christmas market. Souk @ SAT focuses on creative and inspired gifts like clothes, books, toys, jewellery, furniture and delicacies from Montreal. This event features lots of art from local designers, so it’s a great place to get those one of a kind and very stylish gifts. Peruse the wares of the seemingly endless pool of extremely talented local artists like Norwegian Wood and Moon and Sparrow, or see what the future looks like by checking out the work of the highly modern Montreal design company, Futil Design.
If you’re interested in local foods, check out The Preservation Society’s table at the SAT. The Preservation Society is a small preserving company out of Montreal specializing in canning. The Preservation Society use local fresh ingredients that are sometimes even hand picked! Pick up some of their famous jams, jellies, hand cut marmalade, chutney or pickles- I’ve heard they make heavenly preserves and (bonus) they’ll keep until December 25.
December 2-22: And last but certainly not least, The Salon des metiers d’art du Quebec is considered the largest show and sale of professional crafts. It’s held this year at Place Bonaventure and features 400 artists showing their quality handcrafted goods, so there will surely be something for everyone in the land of one-stop shopping.
Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be stressful, at least not in Montreal. Go and support local artists and artisans before going home with all your Christmas shopping so that you can enjoy the best of the season in peace, while listening to your favourite Star Wars Christmas carols.