The Best Places to be During the Christmas Season
Christmas is coming around the corner sooner than anyone had hoped or anticipated. Most folks use this time to make visitation trips to all the friend and family celebrations they can attend. Although this is usually the case there are a rare few people that take this vacation time as a grand opportunity for adventure. For those of us who are looking for an extravagant adventure while still keeping up the Christmas spirit this holiday season, here are some notable places famous for their Christmas get ups.
What better way to keep to traditional Catholic Christmas rituals than to be in attendance during the midnight mass at The Vatican in Italy. This city is magical all year long, but during the Christmas season it has a certain unforgettable twist. Beautiful nativity scenes can be seen on St. Peter’s Square, Piazza Navona, and in the Saint Maria Church in Aracoeli on the Capitoline Hill.
Zurich, Switzerland, known famously for its chocolate, mountains, snow, and cobbled streets attractions becomes even more attractive during the Christmas season. Christmas in Zurich, Switzerland is complete with cute Christmas markets, guided Christmas themed city strolls, an enchanting Christmas tree that comes to life on Werdmuhleplatz, and a choir of little children that sing sweet Christmas carols on a tiered triangular stage decorated in Christmas lights.
For those non-Christians still wanting to enjoy the Christmas spirit, Tokyo, Japan makes for one of the most appropriate places to be to do just that. In Japan, New Year’s definitely out ranks the spirit of Christmas, but that doesn’t stop Japan from being decked out in over the top decorations and lights during this time of year. Tokyo’s midtown is taken over by more than 100,000 twinkly blue and silver styled Christmas lights. Christmas day here turns out to be less than a holiday because the celebration really happens on Christmas Eve. Some of the great traditional holiday feasts during this time happens to be fried chicken followed by sponge cake topped with cream and strawberries.
If you’re trying to make a memorable Christmas trip with the kids why not take it back to the birthplace of good ole St. Nick himself in Rovaniemi, Finland. The Santa Clause Village amusement park and resort in the city of Rovaniemi makes for one extraordinarily unforgettable Christmas experience. It is complete with snow-covered cottages, reindeer rides, and all of Santa’s little helper elves as the staff. If you’re lucky enough, you and the family can take an evening snow mobile trip to try and catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
Looking to escape winter without your winter coat? Well, Cape Town, South Africa would definitely be the place to go for just that. Although, there will be less winter wear the holiday spirit won’t find a way to escape. The Christmas spirit is still present through the South African City’s holiday market, outdoor screening of Home Alone at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Christmas day, and a delicious five-course Christmas feast at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
Did someone say Christmas lights? If you’re in the mood for a beautifully and brightly lit Christmas, Sydney, Australia is the place to be. This holiday season lasts the entire month starting with the tree lighting at Martin Place followed by endless Christmas markets and nightly concerts. 94,000 twinkling LED lights give the Pitt Street Mall Boulevard of Light its incredible glow. Did I mention this is also a warm December destination? Still no need for that winter coat.
Some good old cultural Christmas traditions infused with a mean salsa beat and a side dish of spit-roasted pig can be found on the small island of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their Christmas festivities begin sometime in early December and last until Three Kings Day on the 6th of January. Christmas here is conducted through Christmas mass, traveling carolers, a Christmas feast and decorations at City Hall on the Plaza de Armas.
Christmas has definitely proven to be a worldly celebration. There are hardly any places you can go to truly escape the Christmas Spirit. Where ever you venture off to in order to celebrate this year, whether it’s a newly discovered destination or a traditional trip to see the family, make sure you do so with the ones you know and love.