Not everyone anticipates Christmas the same way; for some, it invokes the joy of togetherness and gift giving and for some, it is the nippy weather. But then, there are people like me, who dread Christmas for how it gravitates towards dysfunctional situations that we’d rather avoid. By the fact that you’re here on my blog, scouring for something ‘relatable’, I take it that we’re on the same boat and I hope to do right by you. Read along to discover some tips and activities that could help you dodge the much-dreaded family Christmas.
Spend Some Time Away With Your Friends
There’s no better medicine for boredom or loneliness than friends. Although celebrating Christmas with your family is the norm, I personally feel nothing good can come out of family get-togethers if the atmosphere back home reeks of hostility.
A few years back, I visited my friends in Sydney, where it felt a lot less Christmassy than my hometown in Latvia; summer comes in December in Sydney and their Xmas traditions are adorably odd. Santas in shorts and brightly coloured summer clothes, people sun-basking on the beaches and lively streets with summer vibes are some of the things that caught my eye.
To make the trip more interesting, I got aboard one of the Christmas party cruises in Sydney with my friends Matt and Danny. Never knew the harbour would look so gorgeously different from the waters. The harbour cruise with a Christmas party included a multi-cuisine menu and it felt surreal to indulge in a meal with a view of the iconic Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. And of course, to be with my banter-ful clique made it all the more fun and memorable.
Backpack your way through Europe
It’s every travel-buff’s dream to go backpacking across Europe. As a Latvian, I feel blessed to be able to frequently travel around the world. ‘Cause you know, generous travel allowances from the government! Besides the fact that I’m tormented by my family who hated my guts to quit my 9 to 5 job, I feel blessed to have been born in this country. So, if you, like me, are a European, make the most of your privilege to travel around the breathtakingly beautiful countries around you. Some of my favourite European Christmas experiences were in Estonia, Finland and Poland. But that’s too vague a list I know. Currently, I’m working on another article with an elaborate list of European places to visit during Christmas. So, do follow and subscribe to my blog for prompt updates.
Have lunch with the animals
There’s only a fine line between our civil and uncivil traits. But personally, I feel we share a bigger set of behavioural traits with the animal kingdom. This Christmas season, you could get away from your dysfunctional family to be with the animals. In Riga, we have the Riga Zoo, which features Winter Nights enhanced by the spirit of Christmas. If at all I’m in the country during the winter season, this is one experience I hate to miss. However, please do note that you may have to book your tickets in advance as there is a great demand for zoo visits during winter. One of the most interesting sights to see is how the animals give birth to their young even during winter. You may have to hang around with patience to experience surprises like these around illuminated corners within the zoo.
Do you think you deserve a break from the family as well? I wish you all the courage and goodness in the world to treat yourself to memorable experiences for the upcoming Christmas.