Author Archives: Suzanne Hull

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

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association

The Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association is one of nine non-profit new to the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction this year.

According to their website, “The mission of the Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association is to educate and inspire youth through fair and honest competition and mentorship.”

“We are a great family oriented competitive racing organization,” explains representative, Maria Hackett. “Our organization promotes family teamwork where the parent is not a spectator but a team member working alongside their child. This activity strengthens family bonds and encourages spending time together.”

“We support fair/equal opportunity racing for children. This is the only sport that I can think of that allows boys and girls to compete against each other in a competitive environment.”

The Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association are excited to bring a racing themed tree to Christkindlmarket 2018.

For more information on the Greater Des Moines Soap Box Derby Association, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines

The Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines was founded in 1977, and is one of 350 clubs around the world that promotes international understanding, cultural education, and citizen diplomacy through homestays and personal friendships, which makes them a perfect fit for a traditional German-inspired Christmas Market.

The Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines is a first-year participant in the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction and will be adorning their tree with a “Joy to the World” theme. The tree will include 6 laminated heart shaped maps, world globes, pine cones, and an assortment of world flags.

The club hosts at least one activity a month related to a journey such as a Welcome Party for the ambassadors or cultural programs and social activities. Please visit their website for additional information and activities.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Des Moines Children’s Museum

We would like to welcome back the Des Moines Children’s Museum for their second year with the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction. They have chosen the charmed theme of Harry Potter to enchant us all this holiday season.

The Hogwarts Christmas tree will have an assortment of colorfully decorated wands, and iconic images from the Harry Potter universe.  Bright garlands of house colors, a sorting hat, and a clever mischief managed tree skirt will help complete the magical tree.

“Des Moines Children’s Museum is a 501 (c)(3) that is all about the power of play,” explains co-founder, Julie Burtnette.

“Children learn when they play and having a local children’s museum in Greater Des Moines will benefit families now and in the future.  DSM CM has a temporary location at Valley West Mall while it continues to educate and raise funds for a permanent location.”

Burtnette encourages everyone to check out their FaceBook page and website for upcoming events including a winter party, inaugural Giggle Gala and a family Valentine ’s Day party.

“Building the foundation of lifelong learning by promoting play is so much fun!”

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Taysia Blue Rescue

The Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction has recruited a new participant this year, Taysia Blue Rescue.

“Taysia Blue Husky and Malamute Rescue is a 100% volunteer and foster based organization that pulls dogs from shelters where they are at risk of being euthanized,” explains representative Erica Hellmich.

“Taysia Blue Rescue also takes on Huskies and Malamutes that have medical issues such as Heartworm and orthopedic problems. We work hard to make sure that the dogs get to live happy healthy lives.”

They will be decorating a tribute tree to the dogs who have come through the rescue in 2018. It will feature paw prints, dogs’ photos, the rescue’s logo and other miscellaneous ornaments.

If you are interested in learning more about Taysia Blue Rescue, please visit their website.