We hate to break it to you, but Christmas is now just over a month away. Have you started your preparations yet? No, us neither.
Despite all the festive huffing and puffing from shops, brands and the media kicking off in early October, Christmas still manages to sneak up on us somehow.
With just over a month left until the big day, now is definitely the time to start planning and preparing. Whether it’s arranging the turkey and trimmings, taking the plunge and heading to the overcrowded shops, or arranging logistics for Christmas day itself, there’s a great deal that needs to be done.
Of course, one way to avoid a lot of the usual fanfare that inevitably comes with Christmas is to head overseas and enjoy the festivities somewhere completely different. Every year, thousands of Brits go abroad for a Christmas experience that they’ll never forget.
While the likes of a white Christmas in the Alps or a warm Christmas Day in the Canary Islands will be top of many people’s winter holiday agendas, there are far more memorable places to choose from. So this Christmas, try one of these unusual destinations.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Are you looking for sun and sand rather than snow this Christmas? The Caribbean is a great place to spend Christmas Day, offering soaring temperatures and an entirely different take on Christmas dinner.
The city of San Juan, in Puerto Rico, certainly knows how to celebrate the festive season. It has one of the longest Christmas periods in the world, with festivities getting underway in mid-November and lasting through until mid-January.
Christmas dinner is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, and consists of roast pork, rice, beans and plenty of coconut nog. Most locals will then head for a midnight mass service with family and friends.
For many of us here in the UK, hopes of a white Christmas are dashed by greyness and drizzle. A white blanket come Christmas morning is never guaranteed.
So, it’s little wonder that so many of us go in search of guaranteed snowfall each year. But rather than hitting the slopes for a spot of skiing, why not head to beautiful Iceland?
A stay in Reykjavik will be one you’ll remember forever, not least for the chance to see the Northern Lights. This year the lights are set to be at their brightest for decades, so there’s never been a better time to visit.
We all know Bethlehem from the Nativity story, but how many of us have actually been there? For a unique, and very authentic, Christmas holiday, a trip to Bethlehem is a great idea.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travel to some parts of Israel at the moment, but Bethlehem receives large numbers of tourists at this time of year.
To increase your safety further, it’s best to go as part of a tour group. As well as offering safety, tours will visit landmarks such as the Tomb of Rachel, the Basilica of the Nativity and Manger Square.
The US state of Hawaii has always done things in its own way… and Christmas is no different. There may not be many chestnuts roasting on a open fire, but the locals really know how to get into the spirit.
With street parties and Christmas boat parades, not to mention plenty of concerts and light displays, the islands are lit up to the max.
If you’re heading to Hawaii this Christmas, be sure to check out the Honolulu City Lights – a dazzling spectacle of lights, music and a 50-foot Christmas tree.
Christmas is an entirely different beast in Australia, given that it arrives at the height of summer. Rather than cosy evenings round the fire, Aussies are out enjoying the even-better-than-usual weather that Crimbo down under inevitably brings.
If you’re planning on a trip to Australia for Christmas this year, head to Sydney for a BBQ on Bondi Beach for Christmas dinner – something that is quickly becoming an established tradition for many visitors.