10 Christmas moods and where to go for them

So you don’t want to spend Christmas at home. Here are 7 ideas for different Christmases you can do instead.

#1 Traditional Christmas: Germany

Christkindlesmarkt Nuremberg Christmas market
The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg. Photo: British Airways

The yuletide culture of decorating a lush conifer tree during the season is said to have been modernised in Germany. The folk song O Tannenbaum is in German, but it is not a direct translation of the popular carol, O Christmas Tree. ‘Tannenbaum’ actually means fir tree. Head to smaller cities like Nuremberg for the perfect festive atmosphere, and to visit the famous market (Christkindlesmarkt) on Hauptmarkt square.

#2 Ski Christmas: Niseko, Japan

Niseko ski season
Powder season is the best time to visit Niseko. Photo: Oliver Dickerson/Unsplash

The ski town has already gotten its first major sprinkling of snow on Mount Yōtei, and come December, the whole region will be dazzling white. Japan may not have celebrations as big as those you may be familiar with, but the four major resorts and local hotels in Niseko will definitely be decking the halls and getting Santa to entertain the kids. Which leaves us with only one question: do you wanna build a snowman?

Read also: 7 Niseko stays that families with kids will love

#3 City Christmas: London, United Kingdom

Natural History Museum ice skating rink
Ice-skating next to a famous museum? Sure! Photo: Trustees of Natural History Museum

What to look forward to: extravagant lights on major London streets, ice-skating next to the Natural History Museum, fruitcake, the magnificent tree on Trafalgar Square, and the landmark Claridge’s tree – this year’s is being designed by Diane Von Furstenberg. On that note, we can’t wait for the family Christmas card from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – it’s their youngest child Prince Louis’ first Christmas!

#4 Adventure Christmas: Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown New Zealand Christmas
Gift yourself an adventure. Photo: Pablo Heimplatz/Unsplash

This scenic Kiwi town is home to many of the world’s best extreme sports facilities. It’s also summer in the region at this time of the year, so it’s a good time to be shouting greetings as you paraglide over the beautiful landscape.

Read also: Queenstown for thrill seekers: Things to do in New Zealand’s adventure capital

#5 Romantic Christmas: Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Iceland Christmas
Santa may not be real, but auroras are. Photo: Nicolas J Leclercq/Unsplash

You can’t really holiday in the North Pole, so we’re picking a destination not too far from it: Iceland! Any destination can be romantic if it’s the right setting, but in this case, we’re thinking freezing temperatures here will get you snuggling up a little more than usual. It also helps that Iceland loves Christmas, and the Northern Lights are expected to appear during the holiday season. You don’t get a lot of daylight hours here in December, but Christmas lights all over town turn it into a winter wonderland.

#6 Shopping Christmas: New York City, United States

New York City Christmas winter
Bring a big budget. The Big Apple’s shopping sprees are no joke. Photo: Pixabay

Fifth Avenue isn’t a famous shopping district for nothing. In the lead-up to Christmas, holiday sales draw the craziest gift shoppers to New York City, where you can make trips to outdoor skating rinks and see giant tree lighting ceremonies (Rockefeller Center’s lights up this 28 November) in between sprees.

Read also: Ask an expert: Where a fashion designer shops in New York

#7 Beach Christmas: Koh Samui, Thailand

Christmas in Samui
Sand and sea for Christmas. Photo: Glen Jackson/Unsplash

Don’t like the snow? Get a big dose of Vitamin D this Christmas sprawled out on the beach in Samui. There’s plenty to do on the island that’s got to do with adventure, shopping and eating, and the villas there are very beautiful. If that’s not enough, you could take ferry rides to its picturesque neighbouring islands. You’ll get your holiday tan just in time for the new year!

Read also: A guide to Koh Samui’s top neighbourhoods

#8 Safari Christmas: the African wilderness

Africa safari Christmas
Have a hot, hot Christmas for a change. Photo: Danielle Barnes/Unsplash

Part romantic, part adventure, all wanderlust. Christmas looks different in the beautiful safaris of Africa – don’t count on Santa Claus to be donning his thick coat – and can be a refreshing change for your year-end holiday. Activities range from tours around the safari to see wildlife, bush walks and hot air balloon rides to more relaxing things like spa treatments and gourmet dining. Be sure to take the chance to go stargazing on clear nights!

#9 Foodie Christmas: Singapore

Singapore Christmas
How about a Crazy Rich Christmas? Photo: Chen Hu/Unsplash

But, of course. With the amount of attention Singapore has gotten for its world-class food, it’s only natural that we’d head here for Christmas eats. You’ll find your archetypal fancy feasts of turkey and roasts at many of the top hotels and restaurants, but in Singapore, you get to balance that out with hearty street food and snacks. To complete the experience, a visit to Orchard Road is a must (it will be lit up with Disney-themed decorations this year).

Read also: The best private kitchens to visit in Singapore

#10 Spa Christmas: the Himalayas

Christmas in Himalayas
Relax away from the Christmas rush. Photo: The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

So Christmas isn’t really your thing – we all know that one person, and it’s okay! To each their own! – but you just want to get away from all the commercial buzz and wind down properly before the new year. Pick a spa retreat far away from it all, like in the Himalayas, where you’re not likely to be bombarded with that Mariah Carey song every 5 minutes. It’s going to be really cold, but it’s nothing heated pools, hot spa baths and the warmest beds can’t treat.

Look for your perfect Christmas stay!

Andrea Tim

Andrea is a serial kopi peng drinker (for fun, not for the caffeine; coffee doesn't wake her up) and believer in keyboard shortcuts. She sees The Dress as blue and black, and hears both Yanny and Laurel. Make of that what you will.

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