Author Archives: Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Mutter Chaos Flyball

Mutter Chaos Flyball has been decorating a tree for the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction every year, and this year, their dog Pickle, had a hand in the decorating.

Mutter Chaos Flyball team is an opportunity to give dogs an outlet for their abundance of energy and have fun doing so. They strive for each handler and dog to perform at the best of their ability and build a stronger relationship between the handler and the dog.

“Flyball is a relay race for dogs. Dogs compete in teams of four to run down a course, jump over four hurdles, jump on a box and grab a ball, then carry that ball back over the hurdles to their handler,” explains representative, Carol Freeman. “It is so exciting to watch dogs overcome challenges, and gain confidence that translates even beyond the game. Our dogs and handlers also all have great fun playing together!”

“A modern holiday tradition is to hide a pickle somewhere on the tree. Our little dog Pickle has a mischievous streak and while we were decorating, he decided to hide in the tree! Whoever finds Pickle will have great luck this holiday season. If you see him, please take his picture but allow him to stay hidden in the tree until he can go to his new home.”

Keep an eye out for pickle on the “Where’s Pickle?” tree and visit the Mutter Chaos Facebook page to find out more information on the organization.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46

We are happy to welcome back the Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 for their third year of the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

“Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 is proud to continue the legacy of Nordic heritage throughout Iowa with cultural arts, history, and traditions that our ancestors brought to America to share among today’s children and women of all ages,” explained representative, Sandy Hansen. “The Lodge Sisters pride themselves in offering educational and festive events, cultural programs and activities, and social gatherings. Lifelong Nordic friendships have developed while sharing common interests.”

‘Scandinavian Heritage Lights Up Our Hearts’ will be the idea behind this years tree. The Scandinavian American theme will include candles, nordic stars, wooden rosemaling tree-reindeer-church ornaments, wooden ornaments with traditional heart basket design, pine cone accents, straw ornaments, mini packages, Santa stockings, lights, white snowflake ribbon laced around the tree and red tree skirt. Many of the ornaments were created by lodge members: Nadine Dobbe, Helga Kennedy, and Becky PaPerson.

For more information on the Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46, visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Sons of Norway

The Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge are back again to add a little Norwegian flare to this years’ Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

The national colors of Norway are red, white and blue, the colors of the Norwegian flag. Thus, the tree will be decorated with viking ships, Vikings, nisse, moose, and assorted other red, white and blue ornaments.

The mission of Sons of Norway is to promote and to preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, to celebrate relationships with other Nordic Countries, and provide quality insurance and financial products to members.

To find out more information on the Sons of Norway Marsteinen Lodge, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: DMEHA Samstagsschule- German for Kinder

The Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) Samstagsschule- German for Kinder, will be a welcome addition to the third annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.

Offering immersive German classes to ages two and up, from beginners to heritage speakers, DMEHA Samstagsschule strives to provide opportunities for kids to have fun while learning German language and culture.

The story of „Hänsel und Gretel“ von den Gebrüder Grimm (Hansel and Gretel from the Brothers Grimm), will come to life with crafted ornaments from the Hänsel and Gretel story made by German students. Wooden ornaments, cookie cutter, and other sweet treats will fill out the fairy tale Christmas tree.

Please visit the DMEHA Samstagsschule- German for Kinder for more information on classes, times, and location.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Scottish Heritage Society

Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ Silent Auction is excited to have the Scottish Heritage Society as another first-time participant. They will be decking their tree for “A Scottish Holiday.”

The Central Iowa chapter of the Scottish Heritage Society of Iowa was formed in 1975 by the children and grandchildren of members of two organizations prominent in the early days of Des Moines history – the “Robert Burns Club” and the “St. Andrews Society”.

The current membership is comprised of Scottish-Americans and others interested in preserving and honoring Scottish culture. Members want to preserve all this wonderful culture for Scottish-Americans and all Americans. They want the opportunity to gather and share their interests in this lively, historic and proud heritage.

For more information on the Scottish Heritage Society, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: A Home for EveryBunny

A Home for EveryBunny is back for a second year of tree decorating at the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction. They are putting their furry friends on pedestals with their theme: ‘Royal Rabbits.”

House bunnies know they are the kings and queens of their homes. To celebrate these royal creatures, the tree will feature a variety of handcrafted bunny ornaments set amongst a mix of silver and purple garland, lights, and ornaments.

A Home for EveryBunny is Iowa’s only rabbit-specific rescue. Though rabbits are the third most popular pet in the US, they don’t typically get the unique care that their species requires. The goal of this organization is to provide the specific care required for rabbits, as well as to raise awareness of how amazing house rabbits are.

For more information on A Home for EveryBunny, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

What’s new at CDM2018

As festival organizers, we try to bring something new or different to Christkindlmarket Des Moines each year. Check out what’s new for #CDM2018.

1. Wander to Walnut for additional food, beer and Glühwein – Due to the increase in vendors, we’ve expanded the venue to include Walnut Street, so be sure to “Wander to Walnut”.
2. Additional Glühwein serving area on Walnut Street – With an expanded venue comes an additional Glühwein serving area to help meet your demands! We will have a total of three Glühwein and two beer serving areas at Christkindlmarket Des Moines this year.
3. 33 vendors: 16 vendors serving food, 17 gift and specialty vendors (24 vendors in 2017, 14 in 2016)
4. New vendors: Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, Coal Ridge Crafts, DamonLayne Woodworking, On The HIll, Steinbach, Lost Planet Forge, Parlo Pizza, Ruhland’s Strudel Haus, KMachine Shed, Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt and JKafe

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: GiGi’s Playhouse Des Moines

GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Des Moines is another new participant in this years’ Silent Auction. They provide free programs that are educational and therapeutic in nature to individuals with Down syndrome from birth through adulthood, their families and the community.

“GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center is excited to be a part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines!” shares, Jessica Lane, Site Director.

“Willy Wonka is the perfect opportunity to use Pure Imagination in honor of our ‘i have a Voice’ Gala. Our tree will feature bright purples, golds, and magentas exuding the wacky world of Wonka! It’s going to be scrumdidilyupmptious with handmade fused glass ornaments designed, cut, and fired inside GiGi’s Playhouse by adults in the GiGi University Career Development program.”

GiGi’s playhouse will also have a ‘Buy Now’ option for their tree for $321 in honor of 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

For more information about GiGi’s Playhouse Des Moines, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Veterans in Agriculture

We are excited to welcome back a three-year participant of the Silent Auction, Veterans in Agriculture (VIA). They have helped beautify Christkindlemarket Des Moines every year representing their organization with gorgeous trees. This years’ theme is “Life on the Farm.”

“The tree will have a slight rustic farm theme with tin farm animals and silver milk cans,” explains VIA representative, Beth Graubau.

“It will also be decorated with red trucks, tractors, and red barns. A chain made out of blue jeans seams will be wrapped around the tree.  At its base will sit a small red Farm Fresh bushel basket and a sheep wearing a bandana.  The tree will be topped with a small rooster weather vane.  Red, silver, and a few blue ornaments will represent military service to our country.”

Veterans In Agriculture are farmers, veterans, agri-business professional, educators, and other service providers dedicated to empowering veterans to thrive in Iowa agriculture. They provide three main programs/resources to help fulfil their mission statement: The Veterans in Agriculture Network, VIA Resource Guide, Rural America Hiring Heroes, and Find a Farmer Veteran.

For more information on Veterans In Agriculture, please visit their

BySuzanne Hull

Bratwurst Imbiß am Markt

A new tradition in 2018 is Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt (Brat stand at the market) run by Des Moines European Heritage Association, the non-profit responsible for the production of Christkindlamarket Des Moines.

Enjoy a 1/4 lb, coarse-ground, German–style pork bratwurst grilled to perfection.

Usinger’s produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes provided by its founder, Fred Usinger of Wehen, Germany. The family-owned company, now in it’s fourth generation, continues to live its slogan of providing “America’s Finest Sausage”.

Offering: Usinger’s Bratwurst – $5, bottled water – $1