Over the years I have spent Christmas in many different parts of the world. To get everyone into the spirit this holiday season I have decided to write a series of short posts on my Best Christmas Holiday experiences. I hope you find one that inspires you to travel and see the world this holiday season!
A Traditional Swiss Christmas
If you are anything like me, when you think of Christmas in Europe images of bustling Christmas markets and snow-covered villages pop into your head. Maybe your thinking is more cosmopolitan and decadent store front displays and colored lights strung across high-streets are what you envision. Of course, all of these things can be found in Switzerland depending on which city you visit. But on Christmas night a stillness descends across the country. Even in major tourist destinations most stores and restaurants are closed. In Switzerland, Christmas is a family affair.
Christmas in Lucerne
In the days leading up to December 25th, we wandered through a Christmas market and the various high streets in Lucerne. The market, smaller than the ones I saw in Germany, was quaint and obviously designed for the locals. Sipping mulled wine, we watched as carolers passed through on their way to a nearby church.
A local department store converts its windows into a giant Advent Calendar every year, opening up a new window each day.
Many Swiss bakeries fill their windows with a mix of modern and traditional sweets.
Christmas Day in Zermatt
We spent Christmas Day in Zermatt, an alpine village nestled in the heart of the Alps and home to the Matterhorn. Glowing lights were strung everywhere and a faint dusting of snow covered the cobblestone streets. As night settled over the village, shops closed and those restaurants that had been opened shut their doors. Quiet descended – the Swiss were all home enjoying Christmas with their families.
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