The allure of Christmas is about the warmth and delight that fill the days leading to that wintry December night. Christmas gets its charm from the meticulous planning that precedes it.

However, shopping for Christmas goodies in the dreariness of malls could be stressful, especially when you're finicky about picking up that perfect gift for your loved ones. This is when Christmas markets come to your rescue.

Christmas markets first appeared in Germany, Austria and Alsace in the late Middle Ages, and they spread to more regions across the world gradually. Christmas market typically is a street market set up at least four weeks before Christmas, showcasing everything you need to celebrate a perfect Christmas.

Most common attractions of a Christmas market include the 'Nativity Scene' (a crèche or crib), figures made of decorated dried plums, carved nutcrackers, candied or toasted almonds, traditional Christmas cookies such as Lebkuchen and Magenbrot, egg bread with candied fruit, Glühwein (hot mulled wine with or without a shot of brandy), and Eierpunsch (an egg-based warm alcoholic drink).

Though most popular Christmas markets are set up in German cities, making them tourist attractions, the German immigrants has brought their 'Advent' culture to the U.S.