I like to travel in the run-up to Christmas, around November / December. Here’s why…
1. Christmas Decorations
By this time all the Christmas decorations are up, so you get to see some beautiful trees and decorations all around the world, plus fab signs like “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”.
In Lima, Peru we saw a parade of children all dressed as Santa Claus – a load of Mini-Santas, if you will (photo above).
In Macau we saw a massive Christmas-themed display which was so lovely and whimsical. We wrote down our wishes on a small round wish card and posted it into the slot. The “wishes” were then published onto a scroll; they varied from “a massage chair”, “a new vegetable steamer”, to a “new house”, and “world peace” “cleaner oceans”, “happiness all around”. Hopefully all the dreams come true!
2. Christmas Events
You can often find events going on during the build-up to Christmas. Whether it’s a rousing Carol Service or a energetic Gospel Concert, these are worth attending to get you in the Christmas mood! We went to a lovely live nativity in Christchurch, New Zealand, with live animals in the manger scene and a real Mary, Joseph and Baby. It was so cute!
There are also the Christmas Markets which can get you in the Christmas spirit. I have been to a few within the UK, but there is also the possibility of exploring them in Germany and other European countries … maybe one day!
3. Good Cheer
Generally with Christmas comes good cheer and good moods! In Ottawa a man let us have a go at Axe-Throwing even though we were late and technically missed our session. A good mood can be infectious, and I came away smiling at his enthusiasm, sincerity and kindness.
4. Breaks up the Winter
Travelling at this time of year breaks up the Autumn/Winter school terms which I have always found the hardest – as the nights draw in and the temperature falls, the period from September to Christmas has always been a real slog for me! If you go away during this time, when you come back Christmas is just around the corner!
One year we were in Sydney for Christmas and it was interesting to experience a different country at Christmas. It was also expensive to find a nice place to have Christmas lunch!
5. Interesting Christmas Presents
Being away during the Christmas season is also a good opportunity to buy interesting Christmas presents. Although I genuinely do love receiving socks and chocolates, (part of the Christmas tradition!) I do struggle to think of ideas to buy for others, and it can be refreshing to have different presents. We have brought back special teas, wine and cider from France, and one year we got some soaps which were like the moon-shaped stones you throw to pray in Taiwan – an interesting gift with a story!
Whether you are at home or away during the Christmas Season, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you all a very happy and restful break!
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