When planning where to celebrate your Christmas vacation, there are a lot of options. Many people like to spend Christmas at home, but a destination Christmas vacation will create memories that will last a lifetime. From snowy Scandinavian towns in the High Arctic to sacred cities, here are some of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas.
Bethlehem On The West Bank Of The Jordan River
Over the centuries, the religious aspect of Christmas has been diluted. People are spending more of their focus on gift-giving and holiday parties than the birth of Christ. So if putting Christ back in Christmas is important to you and your family, then a trip to Bethlehem might be exactly what you have been looking for. There isn’t a better place on Earth to explore the origins of Christmas than the Palestinian city of Bethlehem on the West Bank, where, according to the Bible, Jesus Christ was born.
Every Christmas Eve, thousands gather in Bethlehem’s Manger Square to celebrate Christmas. Admire the ‘sea of lights’ of the glittering Christmas trees in Bethlehem’s Old Town, attend mass at St Catherine’s Cathedral, and join the thousands of Christmas carolers at midnight as they joyfully sing well into the early hours of Christmas morning.
Father Christmas Village In Lapland Finland
If the idea of spending the holidays with Father Christmas sounds interesting to you, then pack your bags and head to Finland! In the Lapland region of northern Finland is the famous Father Christmas Village, where grandpas in red cotton coats and white beards await visitors from all over the world.
Santa’s ‘office’ is located in one of the village’s peaked wooden buildings, where he sits smilingly in an oak chair by the fireplace and his white beard down to his knees. Every year, Father Christmas welcomes children from all over the world, answering all their strange questions, giving them presents, and telling them stories.
Imagine spending the festive season in Santa’s Village: outside your window, the snow is falling in huge flakes while you enjoy Christmas dinner indoors by the warmth of the fireplace with your friends and family. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the Aurora Borealis in Santa’s Village, and if you visit the Nordic birch forest not far from the village, you might even spot a moose.
New York City
One of the best times of year to visit New York City is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For a few short weeks every year, the city comes alive with decorations and celebrations like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Celebrities, entertainers, and musical performances gather each tear for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting. The event is so popular that it’s broadcast live on TV. Attending the tree lighting in-person gives you an opportunity to share festive cheer with friends, family, and tourists by skating around the tree in the square’s dedicated ice skating rink. It’s no exaggeration to say that the whole of Rockefeller Plaza is filled with an enchanting sense of fantasy during the Christmas season.
One of my other favorite things to do during Christmas time in New York City is window shopping along 5th Avenue. Every major department store in this shopping paradise creates elaborate and beautiful Christmas-themed window decorations.
New York also offers a variety of cultural performances during the Christmas season, including circus, dance and Broadway plays, and the New York Ballet’s Christmas production of The Nutcracker is world-renowned.
Bondi Beach, Australia
The Southern Hemisphere celebrates Christmas in a very different way. Instead of snow and warm fireplaces, people like to celebrate the festive season in bikini-clad swimsuits on lively beaches. And Bondi Beach in Australia is the perfect place to experience Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.
This tourist destination on the outskirts of Sydney offers blue seas, beautiful beaches, and great surfing competitions during the Northern winter months (their summer). As night falls, the beach is lit up and visitors from all over the world enjoy chilled champagne and delicious canapés while dancing to the music of bands and DJs – it’s a huge carnival!
The Best Places In The World To Celebrate Christmas
Where would you like to spend your next Christmas? At home snuggled up under a Christmas tree or on a beach, in Santa’s Village or another destination location? What do you think are the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.