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Warm or Cold Christmas?

Whether Christmas is best celebrated in a warm climate or cold climate is a topic often discussed by travellers. The opinions of most tend to depend heavily upon where that traveller was raised. It is understandable that Christmas to an Aussie will mean barbecues and beaches, whereas Christmas to a Brit will be significantly colder. Those lucky enough to hail from the colder climes of Canada or Scandinavia will be most familiar with a White Christmas.

I grew up with Victorian images of woollen-clad skaters gliding over frozen waters on my Christmas cards, and despite never seeing this in the UK, I was programmed to associate Christmas with snow and ice, and a dinner table ladened with a huge turkey and all the trimmings.

So my first Christmas in a hot country was a shock. Excited about spending Christmas in Vietnam, I went to buy my Christmas tree in early December. The scorching sun beat down as I dragged the fully decorated tree down the street, and I was thankful to be wearing shorts and a vest-top. Turning my air conditioning down to a chilly 16°, I decorated the tree while wearing a snuggly sweater and socks. It almost felt like Christmas.

Beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Vietnam.

Christmas Day was spent on a sun lounger at the beach, and I was too hot to eat a cooked dinner so instead I enjoyed an omelette and salad.

The next two Christmases were spent in the much the same way, in Thailand and Cambodia respectively. I enjoyed a fourth hot Christmas last year in Colombia.

Even though there was a tree and tinsel, a huge roast turkey dinner, and people pulling crackers – it didn’t feel like Christmas to me. Maybe it was because Santa wore hot pants?

Christmas in Cambodia

One of my favourite Christmases was my first year in Sweden. The snow had been falling since October so all my Christmas shopping had taken place in Christmas markets, where I had taken frequent breaks to drink glögg (mulled wine) and warm my hands on the open fires that surrounded the stalls. When I got back to the UK the snow continued to sweep across Europe, this time bringing a very rare White Christmas (the first and only that I have ever seen) to Britain.

I sat down at a table laden with turkey and all the trimmings. Snow fell gently outside the window, and I was surrounded by family. I spent the day in snuggly warm jumpers, thick socks and watching Christmas movies under a blanket.

It felt like Christmas.

My nephew Riley getting in the festive spirit for his first Christmas

For me, at least, Christmas is best celebrated in cold climates surrounded by hot food and my lovely family.

Do you prefer to celebrate Christmas in warm or cold climates?

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  1. Jordan says:

    Merry Christmas Elaine! 🙂 Hope you have a great one with your family and the new additions.

    1. Thanks Jordan. Hope you had a lovely day too 🙂

  2. I celebrated my first warm Xmas in Lima, Peru back in 2009 and now I’m back doing it again this year. As someone who grew up in Northern Ohio, US, it is a little different. It is fun, and exciting that I’m putting on shorts to get ready to head to the beach but there isn’t a christmassy feeling to it.

    1. I think that’s the best way to look at it. All of my warm Christmases were fun days, once I tried to stop making them Christmassy 🙂 Hope you had a lovely day!

  3. I felt the same about hot Christmases when we spent Xmas Down Under. It just feels odd if you’re not used to it!

    Have a merry one!
    Vicki – Way Out Far recently posted..An Adventure Christmas in Queenstown, New ZealandMy Profile

    1. Hope your Christmas was a good one!

  4. the two ‘Christmas’s in Australia, just felt like an excuse for a party. It was fun, but in no way ‘Christmassi.’ Would love to experience a white Christmas in Sweden or Canada one day.

    1. I would like to try a Christmas in Australia someday, I need a Christmas BBQ on the beach!

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