It’s almost July and here in Melbourne winter has well and truly set in, the days are short and chilly, people are scurrying from one warm place to another, and smoke is curling out of chimneys (I love that smell). It’s a time for red wine, comfort food, scarves and… Christmas in July.
It’s a bit of a tradition among my friends. Each year we get together at one of our houses and pretend we are having a cold, white Christmas. The exact opposite of what we actually get each year. There is mulled wine, turkey, Christmas crackers. The works.
What it also does is make me start thinking about what I am going to be doing for the real Christmas this year. Do I really want to be doing the ‘same old’?
Sure, a backyard barbeque is always fun. Grandad wears his paper crown and sweat makes the dye run down his face. We all tell the bad jokes and try to stop the smaller kids swallowing the bon bon toys. And then bam… It’s all over for another year.
But perhaps, I should be combining my bucket list with my Christmas list.
I could be dreaming of a bucket list Christmas.
Just a note, this post has been sponsored by G Adventures, but all of the opinions and words of the author are 100% authentic
The options are many. Europe is always a magnet for me at that time of year. The Christmas Markets… oh the Christmas Markets!
If you haven’t been, imagine little clusters of wooden stalls in village squares, with decorated gingerbread hanging from the roof, glühwein steaming from a vat and hot ‘würst’ on the grill. Trinkets, baubles, wooden toys, gifts galore, the smell of pine needles and the soft feel of snowflakes on your face as they fall around you… It’s like a picture storybook.
But maybe my bucket list Christmas should be all about adventure? I can just see myself at the end of the world, gazing at icebergs all around me as I celebrate the whitest of Christmases in Antarctica. Hopping ashore on the Antarctic Peninsula to encounter an enormous rookery of penguins. And celebrating Christmas day on board an ice expedition ship, surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery on the planet….
Of course though, the ultimate in white Christmases would have to be at the other end of the world, in the Arctic Circle. The ‘home’ of the great man himself, Santa Claus (and of course the reindeer). Visiting Lapland, dog sledding, showshoeing and travelling on an epic train journey past picturesque Scandanavian villages. I could spot the Northern Lights while I’m there and all my Christmases will have come at once.
For something completely opposite, whilst there are only a small percentage of Christians in India, the population of over a billion means there are still more than 25 million people who celebrate Christmas! They sing carols, burn oil lamps and for a twist, decorate banana and mango trees! And I can just imagine tucking into a delicious Christmas curry… that’s a Christmas I couldn’t forget.
India is right at the top of my bucket list, and I can’t wait to see the colours of Rajasthan, wander off the beaten path in little rural villages and of course, marvel at the Taj Mahal.
But for the most epic of bucket list Christmas adventures, could anything top an African safari in Tanzania? Floating in a hot air balloon silently over the Serengeti, the plains below you dotted with unbelievable wildlife. Spotting the Big 5 in the Ngorongoro Crater, and being at one with nature in stylish safari tents. This would be a Christmas gift that kept giving. Even long after I returned home…
The options for a bucket list Christmas seem endless. But if Santa Claus can make it around the world in a night, why shouldn’t we?