It might seem a bit early to be talking about Christmas, but we’re already approaching November so now is the time to really start planning. Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most important family holidays of the year; everybody prepares for months for the days when the whole family gets together and spend time with each other.
But while traditions are great with gifts under the tree and grandma’s Christmas specials, it’s sometimes fun to stir things up a bit and do something different.
Taking your Christmas family holidays abroad is becoming increasingly popular, and there are so many places that are great to explore. Why celebrate the way we always have, when we can discover something new? Here are some great places to celebrate Christmas…
Germany Christmas Markets
Germany is the Mecca of Christmas markets. (Best Christmas Markets To Visit In Berlin) We spent last Christmas discovering over 10 markets only in Berlin, but there are other cities in Germany that have even better christmas markets.
Nuremberg, Dresden and Cologne are all famous for their incredible markets, and the adorable Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is nicknamed the “Christmas city”.
Celebrate Like A Local
Spend the days before Christmas enjoying the food from the many stalls at the market, buy some traditional German Christmas gifts for each other, and enjoy the many free concerts that play in the evenings.
Christmas night (24:th), however, is best spent at home. We rented an apartment and made a German Christmas dinner.
Würstchen (sausages), potato salad, casseroles, goose, cheese fondue, Lebkuchen (soft kind of ginger bread), Glüwein and Eierlikör (mulled wine and egg liqueur), Christstollen (bread with dried fruits inside).
Christmas Markets In Berlin
Scandinavia – Cozy Christmas
Christmas is very important for Scandinavians, and unlike many other countries this holiday is not at all a commercial thing.
In Scandinavia, Christmas is celebrated on the evening of the 24:th, when Santa Clause (who apparently lives in Finland) comes knocking on the door with a bag full of gifts, each with a riddle that gives you a clue of what is inside.
Celebrate Like a Local
Rent a cottage in a ski resort or somewhere idyllic, buy a santa dress and a big bag, spend an evening together writing riddles for each others gifts and munching on gingerbread.
Schnapps, Christmas Ham, Janssons frestelse (Janssons temptation), Christmas rice pudding, Julmust (Christmas soda), Mulled wine, “prince” sausages, meatballs, gingerbread, Christmas toffee, and “dipping in the kettle” (dipping bread slices in the ham broth after boiling the Christmas ham).
Australia – Christmas By The Beach
Christmas in the Pacific is as different as it could possibly get from the winter in the northern hemisphere. Summer has arrived with lovely warm weather and sunny days. In Australia, Christmas is celebrated on the morning of the 25:th with presents under the christmas tree.
Celebrate like a local
Spend the day hanging out with friends and relatives, play some sports on the beach, go swimming and surfing. Check out one of the many events that are held in the parks, and enjoy a BBQ with some beer.
BBQ meat, cold salads, cold turkey and ham, Pavlova (a traditional cake) and lollies such as rocky road. The foods are often cool as Christmas is celebrated in the middle of the summer. Another typical Australian dish is the Billy Can Pudding, a dish that is left out for Santa Claus.
It’s a raisin bread boiled in a tin. The tradition comes from the olden days when colonists living out in the outback had little to work with in the way of cooking instruments.
Easter is a holiday celebrated in countries all over the world, but some places take a certain pride in the festivities – here is a list of the world’s top destinations to visit during Easter…
Top Easter Destinations Rome
Rome is jam packed during Easter so if you are planning to take a family holiday to Rome during Easter next year now is a good time to start planning.
The closer you get to easter, the fewer hotels will be available, as there are many people booking their Easter family holidays already six months in advance.
But there is a good reason to why so many people flock to the city during Easter.
The Pope holds many of the masses and blessings, which is one of the biggest events for Christians around the world and a very unique experience to witness first hand.
But the whole city is buzzing, and when you’re there you should not forget to buy one of those massive easter eggs that you will see in all candy stores and supermarkets!
In New York, the highlight of Easter is the Bonnet Parade, a fun and informal parade that dates back to the 19th century, and has developed from showing off your new clothes to wearing extravagant outfits.
Rio De Janeiro
Rio is as colorful as ever during Easter, when vibrant processions take over the city, and the streets are decorated with flower carpets.
It’s a beautiful time to be in Rio, and the climate is perfect for relaxing by the beach after watching the spectacles.
Easter means spring in Amsterdam, and spring means tulips. Outside of the city is a seasonal tulip garden called Keukenhof that is absolutely perfect at this time of the year.
The garden is a true explosion of color. Amsterdam is the perfect destination for family holidays, as there is so much to do for people of all ages.
Vienna has some great easter markets that are wonderful to stroll around in during easter. You can buy everything from food to hand made easter bunnies and other local craft.
Easter in Spain is a very important time of the year, and in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor drummers in white robes assemble to play their instruments in celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
(photo credit: 1 – 1 – 2)