I love Christmas. We were pretty broke growing up, and although my mum was a single parent, she would begin buying Christmas presents in January (her budgeting skills are legendary, I swear that woman can make $1 stretch to $10), and she would purchase our gifts as she could afford them throughout the year.
She was determined that even though we weren’t exactly wealthy, we would always have an amazing Christmas.
My mum’s pretty creative, and she’s got a wicked sense of humour. We would leave out cookies and a beer for santa, and then when we woke up the next morning there would be a few presents sitting in the fireplace, since Santa had “dropped them down when he was drunk.”
One year she dug up a patch of her vegetable garden, and left carrots and muddy “hoof prints” scattered throughout the backyard, since “those naughty reindeer were obviously hungry as well.”
So Christmas was always a magical time growing up, and I still count it as one of my favourite holidays.
This year I had a pretty laid back Christmas, and most of my friends in Chiang Mai went home for the holidays. One of my friends visited for Christmas though, and we spent the day getting massages, and eating and drinking far too much.
While I may be a little jealous of my family enjoying each others company without me, it was also awesome to have a completely stress-free Christmas in one of my favourite cities.
But there are a few places I’m desperate to spend Christmas. Here are the 5 places on my Christmas wish list:
Can you believe I still haven’t been to Europe? Unlike most Kiwis and Australians who head to Europe after high school or university, I passed it up in favour of the United States.
The main reason Germany is on this list is because of their incredible Christmas Markets. While I’m aware that many of them are fake and just aimed at tourists, I’d love to see the Nuremberg market, which is a traditional market full of handmade toys, and my favourite….gingerbread.
Tallinn is home to the first ever Christmas tree, which was decorated in 1441. This seems like the place to go to ditch the elbowing crowds in the rest of Europe, and Tallinn celebrates Christmas with concerts, a Christmas village, an outdoor ice skating rink, and an international Christmas market. Plus it looks seriously beautiful.
So far I’ve chased summer every Christmas, and even when I lived in Chicago we ditched it in favour of a Christmas in Miami. The thought of a white Christmas definitely appeals though, and if I’m in the United States it will have to be New York. I want to gawk at Rockefeller Centre, fall on my butt as I pretend I can ice skate in Central Park, and window shop on 5th Avenue.
I actually only discovered this place recently, and I immediately decided that I have to spend a Christmas there. Who wouldn’t want to go to the hometown of Santa Claus? While you may think that this place is just for the kids, you’d be wrong.
Sure you can meet Santa, attend Elf School, feed the reindeer, and bake Christmas cookies with Mrs Claus, but if you also want to pretend to be an adult, there are two Christmas theme parks, and of course you may even get to see the Northern Lights.
I also want to go on a husky safari, ice climbing, and snowmobiling. Lapland is definitely on the bucket list.
This one may seem a little random, but let me explain. After doing a bit of research into the way the Puerto Ricans celebrate Christmas, I can totally get behind it. Not only is the weather perfect for the beach, but these guys begin celebrating mid-December, and go all the way through to the 6th of January.
This is a place where I wouldn’t have to bundle up, and I quite like the thought of sipping rum and eating delicious food for a few weeks!
Which places are on your Christmas wish list?