For December’s blog post this year, I wanted to create something warm and fuzzy to bring together some of the amazing humans I have come to know over the last twelve months, to showcase a little bit about where they come from, perhaps where they’ve been and how different people are spending the festive season around the world.
Hostel Hangouts in Stockholm, Sweden
Last Christmas was the first I had ever spent away from home and since I left to go backpacking through Europe in late October, I awoke on Christmas day in a 14 bed dorm room with David in the bunk below. Initially I wondered whether being in a hostel over Christmas would be a lonely and miserable experience, but was pleasantly surprised to find the cosyness and sociability of the City Backpackers Hostel made a foundation for our very enjoyable day.
In Sweden their main day to Celebrate Christmas is actually on the 24th December, however on the morning of the 25th we gathered all the travellers we could muster, borrowed ice-skating boots and traipsed to the nearby park which had been covered over in ice for everyone to enjoy. When we returned to the hostel there was warm Glogg (mulled wine) waiting. Later on we all came together again in the hostels dining room to cook and eat and be in good company. This experience exceeded our expectations so much that David and I have decided to do the same thing again this year in a different location (stay tuned for more)!
Enchanted in Vancouver, Canada
Christmas in Canada is one of my favourite times of the year. There’s radio stations dedicated specifically to Christmas music, there’s chilliness in the air, and there’s truly a feeling of Christmas everywhere you go.
In my family, we absolutely love Christmas, and start decorating as early as just after Remembrance Day (November 11th). I’m given the task of head baker, making any and all Christmas treats. My sister is the Christmas DJ in charge of music, while my parents are in charge of putting our (9ft tall) tree together.
Vancouver is one of my favourite places to be during the holidays because there are just so many activities. This year in late November I went home for two weeks, and spent a few days in the city. The mountains were dusted with fresh snow and were the backdrop for the city’s Christmas market. As a new addition this holiday season, we are home to the world’s largest Christmas lights maze called Enchant, which has a small market, live music, food trucks, and hundreds of thousands of beautiful lights!
Usually on Boxing or New Years Day, our family would head out to one of the 10 ski hills surrounding Vancouver dressed in toques (UK English: Bobble Hats, US English: Beanies) and mittens for some tobogganing. One of my favourite memories was my dad and I heading to the closest mountain to our house called Hemlock for an evening ski. We went around 6:30pm, so it was basically just us.
Sunbathing in an Auckland Wonderland, New Zealand
December 25th has always been the one time of year my family makes an effort to come together to spend time with each other and celebrate the end of another great year. Of course Christmas time in New Zealand is during summer, so a typical Christmas morning for us usually involves dressing in shorts and a t-shirt, followed by a champagne breakfast, croissants and a giant fruit platter, all eaten in the morning sun on the deck. We exchange gifts soon afterward and then often like to take a wander in our garden or just relax before the big meal later on.
My favourite type of Christmas day though, is when we pack up all the lunch food for a picnic at the beach. It can still be a bit nippy for swimming in Auckland during December, so we usually just eat, chat and maybe climb some Pohutukawa trees – also known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree because of it’s bright red flowers. Tradition in my family is trifle for dessert, for which I am the master baker. The thing I love about trifle, apart from the taste of course, is you can do pretty much anything with it and it will turn out looking just great because it’s always layered up and covered over with delicious toppings. On Christmas, no pressure desserts are the way to go. A big bowl of this, then it’s nap time and holiday episode Friends reruns until bed.
A big thank you to the contributing author of this article; Kristin a.k.a. Planet Dot. For more from this passionate traveller be sure to follow the links to her blog and leave a comment to say hey!
#FestiveFanFair in the UK and Europe continues over on the WorldFanFair YouTube channel…
Warm wishes to everyone this holiday season!