If the most daring festive experience you’ve ever had is cooking goose instead of turkey, then perhaps this year it’s time to break the mould – with an alternative take on Yuletide.
That’s right; you don’t need to spend 25th December picking up pine needles or searching for oven space. There is a whole world out there for you to explore – and whether that means venturing across the globe for Christmas or a place in the sun, there are plenty of ways you can mix it up this festive period.
Can’t decide where to begin? Read the best alternative Christmas ideas you will never forget, below.
Spend Christmas abroad
Here are two options for Christmas if you want to head out of the UK.
The first is to go to European boltholes, like Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm and Reykjavik, where snow is abundant and warming hot chocolate is proffered from expansive Christmas markets. Naturally, these cities get busy during December, but for what they lack in solitude, they make up for in spirit. Try a lavish Christmas day dinner in a family-run pub and follow up with a trip to the spa – instead of clearing away half-eaten roast potatoes.
Your second option is to cast aside everything you know about Christmas and head somewhere hot. Morocco is one of the best for UK travellers at this time of year. Not only are flights under four hours long, temperatures exceed 18 degrees in a country which is positively bursting with otherworldly landmarks (like the Volubilis and Bab al-Mansour). Visit here if you want to add to your photo album.
Enjoy Christmas on the water
Whether you want to sail across Europe for a long weekend or are keen to spend weeks floating from port to port in the Caribbean, there’s a Christmas cruise to suit you.
Grab a mimosa and travel to Bruges on a relaxing cruiseliner (it only takes two days). Then, once in-land, there is a dazzling array of medieval architecture to admire and world-renowned marketplaces – ideal for sourcing special gifts for the grandchildren. Further afield, there are trips starting in Miami and heading into the Bahamas. Here, onboard bottomless brunches and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches are par for the course.
If you are in the mood for a longer voyage, then fourteen-day cruises around the Mexican Riviera, Caribbean and Hawaii are all sound choices. On deck and ashore you’ll experience tropical heat that feels a world away from the snowy, foggy spots of the UK. And don’t worry about losing that cosy ‘Yuletide spirit’ – there’s a winter wonderland of dazzling Christmas decorations, seasonal menus and festive music for you to enjoy inside the ship.
Treat others to a memorable Christmas
Local food banks and shelters need help more than ever over the festive period, so why not do your part and spend Christmas helping those less fortunate, instead?
Shelter, Crisis and the YMCA are always looking for well-meaning volunteers, but there are also many local charities in your area that you can get involved with.
If you can’t help in person, you can always do your part by donating. UNICEF and Save the Children both have marketplaces where you can buy everything from vaccines to mosquito nets for those who need them the most – it certainly beats buying the usual stocking fillers of novelty socks or aftershave.
Now you’ve got your alternative Christmas plans sorted, it’s time to gather the funds to make the dream happen. One of the best ways to get access to these funds could be to release equity from your home.
For advice on how to get started, contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 802 1051, or email [email protected], for a free consultation.