Bob Dylan might tempt me with his “how’d ya like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?”, but when it comes to the festive season, going home is a holiday in itself. As cheesy as it might be – and my French father always lays on an epic cheese board on Christmas Eve – my preferred Christmas is wherever loved-ones are. All that is expected of me is that I rock up on Christmas Eve with presents for the family, a new toy for the kitten, and a bottle of port. No one will mind if I do nothing but be merry, lay the table and make gravy all Christmas.
And don't we all dream about a lockdown in the retail establishment of one’s choice? Imagine being able to quell your borborygmus (this is my word of the day, the technical term for a rumbling stomach – let’s crack it out more often!) with an unlimited supply of edible luxury goodies... My personal favourite would be Harrods in London. For me, the prospect of starting with a tipple in the Food Hall and a £50 luxury mince-pie, followed by a Jimmy Choo shopping spree, topped off by a roof party overlooking SW3 (all on the tab, of course), sounds like superficial heaven.
Yet, if I were given a Secret Santa golden ticket abroad this festive season, I can’t say I’d mind. Travelling outside of the UK affords the chance to embrace the quintessential traditions of your location of choice. For me, that’s St. Petersburg. Ever since I read Anna Karenina and was given my first set of Matryoshka dolls, I’ve held onto my idealist fantasy of a Christmas snow-scape, artisan markets, ice-skating along the Neva River, and sleigh rides, decked out in glamorous Russian winter-wear and complete with sheepskin hat.
Christmas destinations for me must be wintry, with the magical yet sadly elusive snow lying deep, crisp and even; why not make the most of it and go skiing in the French Alps. Typically the domain of pre- or post-Christmas holidays, the prospect of fresh snow, a bright view of the resort town, and church-bells signalling the first of many Christmas-day toasts, strikes me as a magical December 25th. I wouldn’t even mind forgoing the ubiquitous over-cooked sprouts if it meant I could tuck into a delicious, unctuous cheese fondue. #Mountainside.
Staying closer to home, I regularly fantasise about a seaside bolt-hole in Devon. My love of the du Mauriers knows no bounds, and this influences my idyll of a cliff-top cottage, warmed by a permanent fire, whilst buffeted by offshore winds. In future years, I imagine starting a new Christmas tradition with a mass exodus to such a place. In reality, it would probably to be ruined by the reality of wet logs, fractious babies and forgotten matches; still, a girl can dream?blog comments powered by Disqus
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