Instead of burdening relatives and other family members this Christmas, jet out to some of the most amazing Christmas destinations in the world. While it is perfectly alright to spend Christmas at home, you can give your loved ones a surprise and book a trip to some of the most spectacular destinations where Christmas is celebrated with all fervor and joy.
1) Lapland, Finland
There is no better place to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones than the North Pole – Santa’s home. Lapland is the closest you will ever get to North Pole and the perfect destination for families with kids. Lapland offers Christmas theme parks that are manned by staff dressed up as elves. You and your kids can also enjoy memorable sled rides drawn by real reindeer. And, if you are smart, you also will book a private session with Father Christmas himself and make it the best Christmas for your kids!
2) Santa Claus, Indiana
Known as the Christmas Hometown, Santa Claus in Indiana takes its name very seriously. The town is filled with Santa- themed shops and attractions, such as Candy Castle and Santa Claus Museum. Of course, with lovely weather, you also can enjoy the Splashin Safari and Holiday World.
3) New York City, N.Y.
New York City has a culture of its own and it becomes most obvious during Christmas, which is celebrated here in mega proportions. If you want to have a Christmas that you will cherish all your life, head out to the Big Apple and be part of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center and then take a carriage ride through Central Park while sipping a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Take your kids to enjoy the wonderful set design and animatronics at the Macy’s or check out Rockettes dressed as Santa Claus at the Radio City Music Hall.
4) San Juan, Puerto Rico
by Lee Cannon
Puerto Rico begins celebrating Christmas immediately after Thanksgiving, so everyday until January 6 is Christmas in this U.S. Commonwealth. It can be an amazing experience to spend Christmas at San Juan, where you can enjoy watching fabulous Christmas decorations on the streets, offices, homes and other businesses. In addition, you also can see Parrandas, which is group caroling. And, while you are having a wonderful festive season, you also can experience one of the most unique holiday customs – lechon asado – which involves roasting a whole pig on a spit.
5) Bondi Beach, Australia
by M Hooper
This Christmas head Down Under and have a warm and sunny Christmas. Summer season begins in Australia from December 1 and many Australians head out to Bondi Beach to welcome the festive season and summer by sunbathing and surfing. On Christmas Day the entire beach become a party venue, with beachgoers wearing Santa suits and hats. There are also live music and Christmas trees around the beach. It can be a unique experience to bring in Christmas amidst the sun and sand at Bondi Beach.
6) Tokyo, Japan
If you do not mind flying on a long flight, Tokyo makes an idyllic Christmas destination. Although Christmas is not a national holiday, it is a commercial holiday and the city gets lit up with amazing lighting and decorations. Christmas in Tokyo means going out on a romantic dinner and indulging in chicken-based dishes and finishing it off with a scrumptious Christmas cake. If you want a different Christmas experience, Tokyo is the perfect Christmas destination.
7) Nuremberg, Germany
by andy liang
Germans have long celebrated Christmas in a unique manner and Nuremberg is known for its Christmas shopping opportunities. The city hosts the annual Christkindlesmarkt, which dates back to the Middle Ages. This massive shopping market can fill your senses with rich aroma of fruitcake and gingerbread while you lose yourself in stalls that sell just about any and everything.
8) Paris, France
The City of Love also knows how to celebrate Christmas. The animated window displays in shops and the glitter of Christmas light throughout the city will make you forget everything else. It can be an amazing experience to ice skate under the Eiffel Tower or visit Christmas-themed markets dotting the city. If you have kids, you can take them for giant Ferris ride at the Place la Concorde.
9) Rome, Italy
If you go to church regularly, you should be looking to spend Christmas at Rome. On Christmas Eve you can head to the Vatican and be part of the midnight mass hosted by the Pope. It can be one of the most cherished spiritual experiences of your life. Be sure to book your tickets for the mass well in advance or you will be disappointed.
10) Bethlehem, Palestine
If you want to have a more traditional Christmas experience, there is no better place than the birthplace of Jesus. On Christmas Eve you can join other believers at the Manger Square and then attend a midnight mass serve at the Church of the Nativity, which is built on the exact spot where Jesus Christ was born. Then you can join other people in carol singing and candle parades.
These are some of the best Christmas destinations in the world and this Christmas surprise your family by taking them for a much deserved break to one of these amazing cities. You will not regret it!