Can I start by clarifying that I LOVE Christmas! The lights, the turkey, the presents, the tree, the family time, the television, the traditions, the sprouts, the bickering… Everything! But sometimes even I feel that Christmas can be a little bit samey, a bit repetitive. Claustrophobic even.
Image by Roberto Trombetta on flickr
Having spent two Christmases away from my family (one festive trip to Rome and one sun-soaked break with not a turkey in sight in Ecuador), I appreciate the benefits of a Christmas break from tradition and relatives. It’s a chance to assess what parts of the Christmas holidays work for you and what, if any, you’d like to change, boost or lose completely.
Image by Sameer Patel on flickr
Image by Ronel Reyes on flickr
7. Remember the true meaning of Christmas in Rome. Tour the Eternal City, see the traditional nativity scenes and go to mass in the city’s many churches (there are lots of free concerts too), and see the Pope speak in St Peter’s Square on Christmas Day.
It’s Christmas, but not as you know it…
If you’re used to Christmas in the northern hemisphere, sample the delights of a traditional Christmas in the south, and if you’re from the south, head north.
8. Head south to Australia for Christmas with all the trimmings – under a scorching sun. Sydney has Christmas markets, choirs belting out carols, and shops bedecked with Christmas decorations. Spend Christmas Day basting yourself with sun cream on Bondi beach!
9. Goodbye sunshine, hello olde-worlde traditional Christmas in Tallinn! Regardless of whether or not the medieval old town of Estonia’s capital is sprinkled with snow come Christmas, the cobbled lanes possess a fairy-tale quality. The annual Christmas market in the Town Hall Square is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Europe, and the first Christmas tree displayed in Tallinn – and probably the world – was put up here in 1441.
10. Put a Hawaiian spin on the traditional take on Christmas. Forget thick boots and a warm red suit – in Hawaii Santa wears flip flops and an Aloha shirt!
Image by Gabe Knezek on flickr
Christmas 2017 in the Sun. Someplace!
Christmas 2017 in Bali and the Gili Islands
3-4 weeks in South Africa
Goa or Kerala - TBD
Sunny skies, no rain and no relatives!
Tour of Sri Lanka