This is one of the most popular and intensely busy travel periods of the year where people move around the world to be with family and friends or to take a well earned break.
What’s your preference for where to spend the December & New Year Holiday Season? What spurs your decision about where to be? Do you yearn for snowy peaks, or some winter sun? Do your house sit choices or family gatherings determine your location … does this change each year with the pull of pets and new destinations, or does it not bother you where you are, are you just happy to be somewhere on your travels?
I am all for a true wintry wonderland Christmas every now and then and we spent a glorious house sit in the French Alps, but this year Ian and I have headed for some winter sun and will be living in and working from Turkiye where it’s currently a balmy 20 degrees C. The Christmas spirit is a little lacking, but I enjoy learning how a different culture celebrates and what food and meals they enjoy.
So which is it for you… Northern Hemisphere or sunnier southern climes?
Aah @Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr … Turkiye sounds like a different and fun Christmas. I am sure the markets must be wonderful too.
I don’t believe I have ever had a white wintry Christmas, but certainly makes sense for some forward planning!! I do think that colder/winter Christmas celebrations bring in much more of a Christmas feel/celebration.
I tend to incorporate family times over Christmas, so it is where my kids are at the time. So far it has been in the hotter countries, South Africa and Dubai.
@Therese-Moderator - I wasn’t sure what to expect but we’ve settled into our temporary Turkish lifestyle very quickly and with ease. I love the food, the people and of course it’s off-season so relatively quiet. I think you are right, it never feels quite like the same Christmas when it’s warm and sunny. We’ve done a few in Australia and it’s been hard to create a traditional Christmas Day over a seafood lunch or a BBQ on the beach. Tell me, is it a turkey dinner in SA or a braai? Whatever, it’s nice we have the option of a variety of Christmas experiences!! Have a lovely time!
@Vanessa-PartnershipsMgr we have always spent our Christmas Holiday in the USA, from the Rocky Mountains in Colorada to the beaches in Florida and many points in between, but looking forward to that changing next year. Our goal is to spend Christmas in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, where we hope to call home a few months out of the year, starting in October, 2023.
I understand that Christmas Day is not as celebrated as Christmas Eve, so I am looking forward to seeing and participating in all the festivities asssociated with it, from a festival, mass, Christmas feast, and more, then plan to help with delivery of Christmas presents to all the kids in the Village. I don’t know of a better way to spend the Holiday.
We’ve spent the year-end holidays in all kinds of places: far southern Florida (the Keys), in snowy mountains in Washington state, at the bottom tip of India (Kanyakumari), Buenos Aires, San Francisco…the list goes on. Our preference is to go someplace new, to see how they celebrate (if at all).
This year we spent a month visiting Christmas market towns. 13 over 4 weeks. It’s been great fun! On Friday we head to Seville, Spain, where the biggest day of the holiday season is the Epiphany (6 Jan). Both very different experiences from what we’re used to. So, cold? warm? Yes, a little of both, please!
Happy holidays to everyone and all the pets people have temporarily adopted while their humans are away!
@Debbie-Moderator We spent a fabulous Christmas in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende a few years back on a long, very enjoyable cat sit. It felt like Christmas was celebrated over a long period! Particularly enjoyed the “living” nativity as it paraded through the streets followed by a procession of people… real donkeys, people etc. all leading to a “stable” in centro! You will love Puerto Morelos, it’s our favourite place along that part of the coast!
@Karen-Moderator It’s fun to see how Christmas is celebrated around the world! We went to the Antalya Archeological Museum yesterday and read the story of Saint Nicholas who was apparently born in Anatolia … who’d have know (not me anyway!!). Spain will be fun… make sure you have your 12 grapes ready for New Year’s Eve when they chime the bells - that was always my favorite moment! Have a fabulous Christmas Espana style!!
We have a bit of a varied table of all sorts of goodies. We used to have the traditional hot-cooked Christmas lunch/dinner, but now it’s usually cold ham, turkey, or chicken with lots of salads, not to mention the delicious mince pies and puddings at the end.
We often do some prawns on the 'braai/barbeque too.
Wishing everyone a lovely gastronomic Christmas time.
Many Christmas and New Year celebrations throughout the years have been in a variety of climates. This year finds me in the first week of Summer in Uruguay. It is interesting to note that Uruguay celebrates the season as a time for gathering, sharing and being with friends and family. Feels more like Thanksgiving. No obvious religious observance. No mass commercialism for gift giving except for children and still it is very modest from my perspective other than FOOD and drink. Alcohol is also not a big thing either except for wine which is local and readily available year round. There is a zero tolerance law for drinking and driving too. A person found to have any level of alcohol on board while driving, loses their license AND vehicle!
Festivities go well into the wee hours of the morning and I have been told to prepare for massive fireworks!
Nice happy place
My Happy Place, in any season comes from the pets and people I’m with.
Over the years I have experienced both “hot & cold” Southern and Northern hemispheres at Christmas
Hot & often steamy -Tunisia, Bombay, Singapore, Qatar, some have seasonal traditions others none but there is always something to discover when submerged in a different culture even if it’s only about yourself.
Mountains, snow and sunshine … that’s my happy place for weather and authentic seasonal joy and if it’s shared with friends, family and loved ones well that’s the cream on the top of my slice of Christmas pudding …
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah and perhaps one of the best greetings … Be happy!!
I’ve found my Christmas Happy place this year in Turkiye at a lovely Turkish home complete with 3 chilled out cats. It feels like a housesit but it’s our Xmas Airbnb. They all come with the obligatory cats AND the obligation to feed them
We’re enjoying a sit in the beautiful and historic Loire Valley, France. One very independent kitty and one beautiful home makes for a special holiday. We feel so fortunate to have gotten this sit and love THS.