Ho! Ho! Ho! It's that magical time of the year again when the bearded jolly man in the red suit comes to town. Be it the Christmas wishes cards, extravagant decorations, TV specials, retail discounts, or even the sound of sleigh bells in the snow, the festive ambiance of a White Christmas is compulsory – no matter how much you love or loathe the holidays. In the season of goodwill, our hearts grow fonder with childhood memories and the endless gifts galore. With holidays just around the corner, here's a list of places to have yourself a merry little Crosbyesque Christmas “just like the ones you used to know.”
#1. Aspen, USA
This little but lively ski town in the Rockies is the best bet to spend a long holiday season, as “The 12 Days of Aspen” event features family activities like ice skating, Santa and his reindeer visits, and smore-making parties. It's not a surprise that the hubbub of holiday delights here brings Hollywood A-listers to retreat. And, as long as you're in the Colorado high country, make sure to visit charming towns of Durango, Estes Park, and Georgetown.
#2. Montreal, Canada
When it comes to ensuring a picture-perfect White Christmas, this French-influenced metropolis is as close as you will get. Visit the Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum, attend Christmas in the Park festival in Parc des Compagnons de Saint Laurent, and head down to the Old Port for Christmas fireworks. Like its counterpart Quebec City, whether you're on a romantic gateway or on a family affair, Montreal, too, caps the season with abundance of indoor and outdoor activities.
#3. Reykjavik, Iceland
December is oh-so-snowy here as this capital city's legendary nightlife is peppered with special holiday events and delicious Icelandic cuisine. Alive with festive spirit and growing worldwide reputation, Iceland Christmas celebrations usually last for two enchanting weeks. Besides admiring the Northern Lights, you can stumble upon the unique landmarks on The I Heart Reykjavík Walking Tour or enjoy a relaxing day at the Blue Lagoon spa.
#4. Helsinki, Finland
Draped in exemplary architecture and Scandinavian folklore, Helsinki features numerous traditional festivals in this time of the year. The Finnish Christmas season kicks off when the elaborated lights are turned on the Aleksanterinkatu street and culminates with the New Year celebrations in the Senate Square. While the traditional Finnish products of The Christmas Market are inviting, live shows at the Winter Circus takes you on a memorable journey. Add to the fun quotient by riding on a reindeer sleigh or watching elves at work in Santa's unofficial home town at Rovaniemi in the heart of Lapland.
#5. St. Petersburg, Russia
No doubt, you have to be brave, like a northerner in Game of Thrones, to embrace the winter in Russia. Blankets of snow is not all this city offers. You can bundle up your holidays by catching a performance of The Nutcracker at Mariinsky or gliding through the historic churches on the Troika rides. The shops in Christmas markets at the Ostrovskogo square feature everything from candles, decorations, and handicrafts to outdoor skating rinks and outdoor live performances.
#6. Seoul, South Korea
So what if most Koreans bow before Buddha? They don't shy away from receiving presents from Santa. To make the most out of your stay, go for Seoul-searching and bargain hunting in the Namdaemun Market and take day trips to nearby ski resorts. From sounds of jingle bells and carols to sights of giant Christmas tree at Seoul Plaza, winters in this east Asian city are equally pleasurable like fall and spring. You probably won't be willing to leave, even though your holiday nears its end.
Bruges in Belgium, New York in the USA, Salzburg in Austria, and Tallinn in Estonia are the other cities that make you believe, you're in a fairy-tale destination. So, snuggle up with your loved ones, share the simplest joys, remember “It's a Wonderful Life,” and Happy Holidays everyone!
PS: Yes, Virginia O'Hanlon, there is a Santa Claus and he's making a list!
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Published On: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016