When I was a kid I was always so jealous of my cousins at Christmas. We would go round on boxing day and they would show off all of the amazing, expensive presents they had and I would always be upset that I didn’t get as much. But as I got older, I realized that they never really used any of that stuff anyway and while my mum and dad didn’t buy me loads of expensive gifts, we always had a great family Christmas. It made me realize that the experiences we had as a family and the memories that we made together were so much more valuable than a flash new laptop or a bike that I would grow out of in a few years.
The average cost of gifts for the family is now somewhere between £500 and £700. That’s a lot of money and most of those expensive toys are only going to be enjoyed for a year or so. Wouldn’t it be much better to spend that money on a great Christmas getaway for the whole family? In the long run, your children will be far more grateful for a trip to a new country than they will for some toys that they got bored of in a few months. This year, why not ditch the expensive presents in favour of one of these amazing Christmas holiday destinations?
When it comes to a great family Christmas destination, there’s nowhere better than Lapland. You and the family can stay in a quaint little wooden lodge in the snow and go to visit Santa. It’s not the same experience that you get seeing Santa in one of those little lodges in the middle of a shopping centre; each family gets a longer session and there are loads of great workshops and things for the kids to get involved in. If you’re interested in what to do in Lapland beyond visiting Santa, you won’t be disappointed. As well as being the home of Santa, it’s also one of the places where you can see the Northern Lights which is a natural marvel that everybody should see at least once in their lives.
White Christmases are few and far between in this country so if you want guaranteed cold weather, head to Russia. The country has its problems but regardless of what you think about it, you can’t deny that the historical buildings in the St Petersburg look magical in the snow at Christmas time. If you want to take your kids on an educational trip as well as a great Christmas getaway, St Petersburg is a good choice because it has a rich and varied history.
There’s one reason to visit Pennsylvania at Christmas time: Hersheypark. The biggest chocolate maker in the US has their own theme park which really comes into its own during the Christmas period. There are loads of great rollercoasters and Christmas themed characters as well as an amazing waterpark. Between November and January, they open the Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, their dedicated festive area of the park complete with all of the Christmas magic you could wish for.
A load of great presents will make your kids happy for a while, but a holiday with the family will create long lasting memories. I know which one I would rather have.