…or wherever your home country is, where would you like to spend Christmas? Is there somewhere you’ve been that you’d like to go to again for Christmas? Or is there somewhere you’ve never been to that you’d love to visit at Christmas time?
As a family, we have had Christmas in a few different places over the years and it doesn’t bother me if we’re not at home in the UK, which I know doesn’t ring true for a lot of people. For me, home is wherever my family is so the actual location isn’t the most relevant aspect of our festivities but I’ve had lots of friends say it wouldn’t feel like Christmas if they weren’t at home. It’s also quite a British view that Christmas should be cold and wintery with traditional food cooked and eaten – so a Christmas in Australia with visions of beach barbecues would be completely un-festive for many.
Here are a few of my most memorable Christmas times spent out of the UK…
We’ve had two Christmases in Florida, and I can safely say that the insane, over-the-top magic of Disney World is still unbelievably festive, despite the warm weather and sunshine! A Disney Christmas is out of this world; so special and a complete spectacle of music, fireworks, parades, fun and total joy. On our second trip, we spent a few days at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and got to meet the Grinch!
Christmas in Canada is pretty great too. We have family over there who we don’t get to see too often and in 2004 I was living in Quebec on my gap year but took a flight to spend Christmas with my family in Saskatchewan. My mum also joined us from the UK. If you want a white Christmas then you’re pretty much guaranteed that in Canada. People go all out crazy with decorating their houses too and in the city that my aunt and cousins live in there are a bunch of streets where everyone illuminates their homes with amazing Christmas lights and decorations, so one evening we went out for a drive to see them all. In the UK, we see the odd decorated house here or there but I’ve never seen whole streets lit up throughout a town until I spent Christmas in Canada.
From a nostalgic view, I lived in Germany when I was young so when I think of my childhood Christmases, I picture Germany. The snowy forests and countryside, the food and drink, going tobogganing, visiting the markets; my earliest memories of Christmas are from being in Germany. I also visited Berlin in December a couple of years ago on a university trip and it was exactly as I remember Christmas being over there. We had such a great few days, visiting Christmas markets, going ice skating and tubing, and just taking in the sights of the city. I came back full of Christmas spirit and feeling so ready for Christmas.
To read about the awful tragedy that took place yesterday in Berlin breaks my heart. It is one of my favourite cities to visit and to see destruction brought to it at any time, let alone a few days before Christmas, is terribly sad. My thoughts are with those affected at this devastating time.