Who from the Southern Hemisphere wouldn’t like to experience a White Christmas right? That’s what I keep telling my sister and her husband when I am trying to talk her into taking a family holiday to experience a northern hemisphere Christmas. Once I win her over, I will mention it to the rest of the family and see if I can get some traction on this wild pipe dream of mine! I’ve told her I’ve made a hash tag for it so it has to happen, doesn’t it!
I’m working on the theory that if I start dropping hints about it now, when it comes time for putting forward cash for flights, it won’t seem like such a crazy idea. Don’t get me wrong, Christmases down under are awesome in the stinking heat, round the BBQ drinking beer and eating seafood cocktails (everyone except me as I don’t eat seafood) but its just not what you read about in all the books. I must admit though, I have had two Northern Hemisphere Christmases, one was white in Brackley, Northants and the other in London and I loved it. It was when I was backpacking back in 1994 and it started snowing at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, as soon as some yelled its snowing I started crying. I think everyone in the pub thought I had gone mad.
I think it would be a wonderful experience and something the whole family could enjoy. I have known other Aussies to do it and not just ones that have family overseas, I have known Aussies that have gone abroad just for the experience of a White Christmas. So why can’t we!
At this stage, its all still a pipe dream so I have made a list of the top 3 places that I would love to make a reality. There not really in any particular order as I would be happy with any of them but I suppose if I had a choice, it would look something like what is below.
Of course New York is number 1, as its number 1 on every list I have! Don’t think we could afford 2 weeks there, so maybe a week in Salt Lake City or anywhere else with cheaper accommodation for the week of Christmas and then over to New York for maybe 5-7 days over New Year. Sounds awesome hey, who could say no!
Whilst its expensive to get there, once you arrive the cost of living is fairly reasonable. Both flights and accommodation will be very expensive from Australia and there’s no direct flights so will require a stopover somewhere, most likely LA. maybe that’s not such a bad thing, a snappy stop for a 3 day Disneyland visit could be on the cards!
We have our famous Myer Christmas windows here in Melbourne but I would love to take the kids to see the Macy’s Christmas windows. I would love for them to go ice skating outdoors in Central Park, they are all pretty good roller skaters so I’m certain they would pick it up fairly quickly.
Spending New Years in Times Square is something the kids (and the rest of us) would never forget. By 2017, the kids will be 8, 10 and 13 so would be able to make it to midnight and see the New Year in with a bang.
On all accounts all the reports coming out of there have been awesome, particularly Cesky Krumlov. Its cheaper than a lot of other European countries once you arrive and accommodation is very reasonably priced. As its not a direct flight from Melbourne we would have to consider a stop over in another European country and Paris would be at the top of my list. My girls have always wanted to go to Paris and a quick 3-5 night stopover will be sufficient to see what we would like to see. Maybe even consider Paris for New Years, now there’s a plan.
This will be the same as New York though, expensive to get to but once your there our money would go further in the Czech republic. It also seems a shame to me, to spend all that money getting there and only spending a few weeks before returning. That’s something we would have to consider closer to the time.
Prague is famous for its Christmas markets, the Old Town Square is the prettiest and the busiest and generally runs from the end of November until New Year. You will be able to purchase various handmade Christmas decorations, traditional Czech Christmas cookies, traditional Czech purpure (Christmas pot pourri), traditional Czech Christmas food and hot mulled wine. Click here for some Prague inspiration.
Now last but by no means least is Kyoto or Osaka, Japan. It would of course be the cheapest to get to from Melbourne but is much more expensive on the ground. I have chosen Kyoto as I have always wanted to see the Geishas and Kyoto is the place to see them. May as well kill two birds with one stone.
Accommodation is a little more expensive then the other 2 options but I’m sure with the 2 years I have to plan it I can find something reasonably priced. Osaka has a lot of tradition and culture and is not as big or busy or expensive at Tokyo, it also gives me the opportunity to catch the bullet train and get the famous Mt Fuji photo from the train window.
Christmas Day is not a holiday in Japan, the Japanese tend to celebrate with dinner out on Christmas Eve but on Christmas Day life continues and the Japanese return to work. Christmas is considered more of the romantic celebration as opposed to how we celebrate Christmas. Trip advisor also advises that you can not be certain to get a white Christmas in either Kyoto or Osaka. In all honesty, going by what I have researched Japan isn’t a great option, it might provide a white Christmas but as far as atmosphere goes, this is not a Christmassy place.
Now this is by no means a final list, I would love to hear other peoples opinions and suggestions of places they have spent or would like to spend a Christmas. I suppose the next step is to start working out how much all this is going to cost. I’m tipping the flights will be the biggest outlay, accommodation is easier as I am quite happy to forgo 5* for something more affordable and would love an apartment so that we could still cook a Christmas meal.
Please leave your comments below, I look forward to reading your suggestions.
As of 27 December 2015, you can now read about our progress by clicking here. Its really starting to take shape with some big decisions being made.