Seasons Greetings from down under. If you are celebrating today, where are you doing it? Where would you like to celebrate it?
Here are 12 options for next year. While, I have been to all of these places I have only had Christmas season in six of them. More on which six later!
- Quebec City, Canada - one of the most romantic cities in the world. At Christmas, it has a very high possibility of snow, giving you a white Christmas.
- New York, New York - this city does holidays well with shops full of amazing food, great gifts and top fashion. Rent an apartment, buy a tree, skate at Central Park and shop until you drop. Check out some of the amazing choirs in the city’s vibrant churches
- St. Augustine, Florida- the oldest city in the United States has a two month long Nights of Lights with three million lights illuminated from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through to January 31.
- Reykjavik, Iceland – the long winter nights are punctuated by Christmas candles and lights. December 23rd is St. Þorlákur’s Mass and the city centre fills with thousands of people enjoying the mood and shopping.
- Barcelona, Spain- If you can manage to extend your Christmas holiday until Three King’s Day, (January 6) check out the three kings as they arrive into the city by shop accompanied by fireworks and a parade of camels, elephants, giraffes, and costumes
- Cologne, Germany - sipping mulled wine and eating potato cakes with apple sauce in the cool winter air mid shopping at one of the city’s six Christmas markets, under the shadow of the most majestic Cologne Cathedral is a very romantic way to spend the holiday season! Follow up with a meal and local beer.
- Bethlehem- notwithstanding the political problems of the region, being in the place where Christmas is believed to have begun has a certain spine tingling “magic”. Some years, Christians organise a 10km long procession from Jerusalem to the Church of the Nativity.
- Hong Kong For a warm Winter check out Hong Kong’s unique mix of West and East. Great Christmas shopping at all hours, great food and amazing light shows are part of the city’s Winterfest
- Bondi Beach, Sydney- thousands of people (mostly British backpackers) converge on Sydney’s iconic sands. Check out the Sunburst Music Festival. Expect loud, alcohol fuelled raucous fun.
- Hobart, Tasmania- one of the most southerly cities in the world, Hobart has an amazing festive atmosphere in the week after Christmas with a terrific downtown festival and the destination point for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. Make sure you include a pre Christmas shopping spree at the Salamanca Markets.
- Milford Sound Track, New Zealand- if crowds at Christmas are your idea of hell, take a walk on the “world’s finest walk”. Only 90 people a day are allowed onto the 54km (31mile) walk . It is not hard to lose those people and have the magnificent track to yourself. You can “rough it” or enjoy some creature comforts on a guided walk
- Samoa or Fiji- fancy spending Christmas on a peaceful beach? Break up your Christmas with meals, massages and swims. Ensure sure you include a village church and check out some of the amazing singing
Wherever you are in the world, heres to a better world in 2013
PS In my life, I have spent time over the Christmas season in New York, Cologne, Bethlehem, Sydney, Hobart and Samoa.