Tis the season to be jolly and of course at this time of year, this is really when the warm and fuzzies kick in. It’s Christmas time after all! Excitement is brewing and dressing up for the occasion is a must. So much is going on and so many Christmas events are to be had! You are constantly devouring copious amounts of food and drinks and making the most of many last catch ups before the festive holidays kick in. It really is the best time of year!
It certainly is a different kind of excitement this time around for me being in the northern hemisphere for Christmas as a opposed to have a scorcher of one and frequenting the beach back in Perth. I have to admit there are certain things about a Winter Christmas that I prefer much over than a Summer Christmas.
Here I will give you my list of why you must have a Christmas in Europe in your lifetime.
Here I thought this was just a joke in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary where Colin Firth is being a cute dork and is rocking out a Christmas Jumper. I thought it was just for the laughs but not its serious business here! They are actually a thing. No really! Walk into the pub, into shops and out and about on the streets and you will see them in droves here in the UK. This sight and the fact people really get into their Christmas get up here makes me love Christmas even more.
Winter Christmas Markets
Winter Christmas Markets are scattered everywhere across Europe. They usually carry the same look with bright little wooden huts decking the town square or aligning the streets creating nice little Christmas winter village feel. They usually have similar offerings of hot foods (Bratwurst anyone?), giant gingerbread love heart biscuits, general Christmas knick knacks, rides for the big and small, amusement park games and of course, the beer gardens, a place where everyone is truly jolly!
I have been a few Christmas markets in my time from belting out dance moves to an older man singing ‘Return of the Mac’ in Hyde Park in London to walking around the various market domains in the Brussels city centre (Grand’Place to Place Ste-Catherine) and also stuffing my face with the Dutch Christmas treat Olibollen (akin to a donut) in Dam Square in Amsterdam. The best part about is despite how cold it may be, everyone has a smile on their face and who can blame them when there are happy vibes all around!
Mulled Wine & Cider
Forget the ice cold stubbie (a cold beer) or so they call it in my homeland Australia, the Christmas drink to be had is either mulled wine or cider. Not familiar with it? Let me introduce you to them both.
Mulled wine is heated red wine mixed in with spices and sometimes raisins. To give it an extra kick, rum is also a nice addition to it but just make sure you remember the night as it is super easy to drink as it goes down a treat! Mulled cider is similar to that of mulled wine but just cider of course. These are certainly my weakness over the Christmas period in Europe!
That white stuff – snow! As an Australian who has lapped up over 20+ Christmases under the sun, snow seems to be this foreign concept only in Hollywood Christmas movies. But is does exist! I have yet to have my ‘Home Alone’ Christmas with the snow actually falling on Christmas day but just seeing the snow in the winter time in general is a magical experience in itself.
The Feeling of it Being a Warm Christmas Despite the Winter Weather
Yes it is cold, the temperatures are close to the minus (or in the minus) yet I feel warmer than ever and that’s not just the layers of clothing I am talking about. I am talking about the feeling when you do step inside, there are either heaters blaring or a fire burning bright, off comes the layers and everyone is in good spirits.
So many Christmas traditional foods are to be had from the likes of Germany’s favourite hotdog, Bratwurst, to the Dutchie donut Olibollen to waffles in Belgium and various ‘Sunday Roasts’ throughout the UK. It is glutton for punishment and yes of course Christmas is the time to treat each other to nice things or cool experiences as I like to dish out but also, please do treat your stomach to a world of foods that is essentially food for the soul.
With that all said, enjoy yourself a Merry Christmas despite where you are in the world and bask in that warm feeling whether it is the sun or the fire burning bright!