Dreaming of a White Christmas
Everyone should have a white Christmas at least once! Snowscapes, sleigh bells, candlelight and fir trees abound in Europe and America at Christmas time – and don’t forget the mulled wine and gingerbread! Get your snow gear on and experience the magic of a white Christmas.
German Christmas Markets
The famous German Christmas markets promise a fairytale White Christmas. All over Germany, through the months of November and December there are magical scenes of Christmas trees, sparkling snow, twinkling coloured lights, and beautifully-lit churches, as each major town stages its centuries-old Christmas Market.
Visitors to Germany drink mulled wine, taste local delights such as baked goodies and locally made sausage, and shop for beautiful locally made gifts and ornaments for families and friends. Each town has its own specialty of sausage, gingerbread or handcrafts and there is music, dancing and carnival-style entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
Sleigh Rides in the Alps
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh…
Imagine listening to the clip-clop of hooves and the jingling of harness bells, as you sit wrapped in a warm fur watching the lights sparkle on the snow. For one of the most romantic Christmas experiences ever, take a sleigh ride through an Alpine village or across a snow-covered valley. Then warm up on hot chocolate and Christmas cake afterwards!
Christmas in America
Santa Claus was invented in America in 1863 – truly! The US also has many other fun traditions for the Christmas season.
In Alaska, boys and girls with lanterns on poles carry a large figure of a star from door to door. People dressed as Herod’s men, who try to capture the star, follow them. The children sing carols as they go and are given treats or supper.
The traditional Lighting of the Christmas Tree ceremony takes place all over the country, but most spectacularly in Washington DC, where the President traditionally presses the button to turn on the lights of a huge spectacular Christmas tree, accompanied by singing, dancing and entertainment.
In Boston, traditional carols are sung outdoors by singers walking in a winter wonderland, accompanied by hand bells.
Christmas Lights in London
Opinions vary on the best place to watch the Christmas lights in London, but everyone agrees that the beautifully lit famous shopping areas of Regent Street, Oxford Street and Bond Street give a magical air to the city at Christmas time.
Christmas lights in London are switched on in November and run until January, and the switching-on ceremony is not to be missed with lots of singing and dancing in the streets, and spectacular entertainment.
For a Christmas truly out of the ordinary, head north to Scandinavia, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) or anywhere beyond the Arctic Circle to experience 24 hours darkness, and the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
Have fun with moonlight skiing, or skating under lights, and then take some time to watch the fluttering curtains of blue, red, green and purple lights all over the northern sky and all around you. Dark nights with no moon give the best view, and the northern-most regions of Norway and Finland (Tromso, or the county of Finnmark) are usually the best places to view this amazing phenomenon. You’ll always remember your White Christmas experience here!