While Christmas is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality family time, it can also be both hectic and stressful. Have you bought those presents yet? Who will be hosting the day? Have you purchased a turkey?
December can truly be a festive period as we all attend German markets, drink mulled wine and get the tinsel out of the cupboards, but if you are looking to escape the week surrounding the big day itself, it may be worth considering getting away. Not only will you make sure your loved ones have a peaceful Christmas but it may also be one to remember. Here are a few options you have for an ‘alternative’ Christmas.
The beach Christmas
The concept of topping up your tan just before Christmas dinner may seem alien, but you have to ask yourself ‘why not?’, for just one year – and you never know, you may never go back. One such place to consider is the island of Tenerife, where even in December, average daily highs stand at 22 degrees C. And with so many beaches, family-friendly attractions and water parks to choose from, you will have one festive period that will be the envy of your friends and family back home.
On this isle, it is perfectly possible to head to Siam Park waterpark a day before you open your presents, check out the birds of Loro Parque once Santa has been and gone, or even choose to climb the mighty Mount Teide, the tallest peak in the Canary Islands, on the day itself. And all of this is not without mentioning the family-friendly beaches. Some to look out for are Playa de las Teresitas, sheltered by a breakwater, El Médano and the Blue-Flag Playa Fanabé that is perfect for water sports enthusiasts.
The faraway Christmas
If you want to have a similar experience, but get even further away from home, Goa in India may be a consideration. The great thing about this place is that it enables you to have that idyllic paradise holiday while squeezing in some fascinating culture for good measure.
Very much like Tenerife, the beaches here are to die for, with their crisp white sands, glittering cyan waters and swaying palm trees. Your first port of call should be Anjuna Beach, located close to the Chapora Fort, while Palolem Beach with its rocky outcrops is great for something a bit less crowded and more scenic.
But celebrating Christmas here doesn’t just have to be about relaxing. You will find more museums and art galleries than you can shake a stick at, while must-see churches include Bom Jesus Basilica (1605), Church of St Francis of Assisi (1661) and Se Cathedral (1619). And why bother with turkey and trimmings? Dig into a Goan fish curry or munch on a platter of crabs, lobster and squid. The options here are limitless.
The magical Christmas
If you want to get away, but don’t want to ruin the traditional aspect of Christmas, Lapland is your best bet. Here, you can be surrounded by a blanket of snow, which you probably wouldn’t even get back home, ride with reindeer on a sleigh and even meet the man in red himself at Santa Claus Village. You never know – you might bump into Mrs Claus and Santa’s little elves.
Regardless of what you do, getting away with the family is always a chance to create new treasured memories, so have a Christmas you will never forget, with the sun or with St Nick himself!