What I love about Christmas: Sea, Sun and Family

It’s only early December but Christmas is on my mind already. No, I don’t dream of white Christmas.

My favourite thing about Christmas is downtime, sunshine and family. Wait, you may say, but you live in England where sunshine is a rarity in the midst of summer, never mind in gloomy December.

Let me explain.

I come from a different tradition where we didn’t celebrate Christmas. Although my experience of Christmas in England has been positive, I never got into the whole ritual of buying mountains of presents and cooking the traditional Christmas meal. It might also to do with my husband’s disappointing  childhood experiences of Chrismas. Also, he’s a vegetarian, so stuffed turkey is not something that appeals to him.

img_5872A couple of years ago, we found a solution. We invented our own Christmas tradition. Every year we fly out to somewhere sunny for some quality family time. One of the benefits is we avoid being bombarded by Christmas adverts. OK, we may get fewer presents, but we also give fewer too. Perhaps a Christmas tree in the sunny Canaries may not have the same magical effect as in snowy Lapland or grey England, but hey, I’ll take it any day. We get pampered with meals ready prepared for us. I switch off completely: no phone, no internet. Just family. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is about? (I know, there’s more to it, but I don’t know a better way to have a family celebration than being in a space where I can give them my undivided attention.)

Besides, there’s something magical in dipping your toes into warm sea water when the rest of Europe is wrapped up in layers.

To read the rest of this post, please visit Melanie Noell Bernard’s website where I’m a guest today.



10 thoughts on “What I love about Christmas: Sea, Sun and Family

  1. Totally agree with you; Christmas is a perfect opportunity to take extra quality time with your family 🙂
    It differs every year what my hubby and I do. We have been on holiday in the past too, we have done the all-you-can-eat-feast with family, we have hosted gatherings ourselves and I had to learn to let go of my dream of being together with all our families together for one big party (since some members of my family want to be right, instead of being happy).
    So each year in September I get restless and I make sure by November the days of Christmas are scheduled, so I know exactly what we are going to do and for the most part can expect. This year we go spend some time with my father and my mimi and the second day we host a lunch for my husbands family. After that we have a whole week free time together, just the two of us and our two dogs. 🙂
    Wishing you a lovely new week, dear Gulara. XxX


    • How wonderful, Patty. 🙂 It sounds like a lovely plan. I hope you have a wonderful time together both with your family and with your husband. It’s amazing how much charge some events have for us…. So glad you found such a great solution and experimented with what works for you best. Have a wonderful week too. Gulara xxx


  2. We have tried this whole ‘sunshine’ piece – canaries, Caribbean etc but nope we prefer grey, to be honest. And we’ve had some fab sunny crimbles recently too. I agree to dispense with the prezzies but the rest of it I rather enjoy


    • Glad for you, Geoff, it can be magical. I used to spend it with one of my lecturer’s family when I was doing a PhD, and they did it properly, and it was fab. Perhaps once the kids are older, we’ll cave in 🙂 Enjoy – not long now. 😀


  3. Maybe come to Australia? Plenty of sun here!
    My kids like being at home for Christmas—they were rather grumpy with me last year when I took them away.
    We’re lucky in that we’re spoilt by the weather, and there’s no need to go away for Christmas—unless we want the cold and the snow, which some of us do!
    I love your Christmas tradition, though—and that you completely switch off and it’s all about family. How lovely! x


    • My husband will never speak to me again if I make him fly for 24 hours with two young kids 😀 I’d love to come to Australia though. I know more people in Australia than in Birmingham, honestly, and I love all those people 😀 So, one day, one day…. I suspect my kids won’t want to go away soon either – once they have friends, etc. they’ll want to stay home too.
      P.S. I’m loving your newsletter, Louise. So so good.


    • It’s great, I love it too. Holidays are not relaxing anymore 🙂 With two young kids it can be hard work, but it’s totally worth it. Hope you are well. Thank you for stopping by.


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