I grew up in London, England, then married a Canadian and moved to Ontario. In other words, I've certainly had my share of cold, wintry, snowy holiday celebrations. Sure, some of the magic of Christmas is created by being in cooler climates; the snow, snuggling up around the fire, and sipping hot chocolate. However, last year we took a trip to Cuba and celebrated Christmas in the sun, and I have to say the holidays are better in warm locations.
Because we live in Canada, we've never had to deal with any travel restrictions on visiting Cuba. As a result, we've visited the island on more than six occasions, and my husband has been more than 30 times. In fact, my partner and I actually met there and returned three years later to get married on the beach. It's safe to say the island has a special place in our hearts.
However when the idea of a Cuban Christmas trip was first suggested, I was a little reluctant. I wondered if all the magic of the season was attached to my memories, which were all related to a cold and frosty time of year. Could I really feel merry in a bikini? It turns out, I can, and the following are just a few reasons why the holidays are actually better in warm locations:
It's Vacation Time
If you have to travel to experience Christmas in a warmer location, you're probably on vacation and that's a great place to be at Christmas. Instead of cooking for hours in the kitchen and then facing mounds of dishes to wash, you can simply saunter in to the Christmas buffet, grab your fill and walk away from all the mess.
You might also be lucky enough to be at an all inclusive resort, where all your food (and booze) is free of charge. Merry Christmas to me, right?
Once you have filled up on all the rich foods and drinks on Christmas day, rather than sitting in your home hibernating from the cold, you can take a walk in the sunshine, run on the beach, swim in the ocean or take a bike ride. I did all of the aforementioned on Christmas day in Cuba, and it felt like a much healthier end to the year.
It Can Help You Avoid Family Drama
Taking a trip somewhere warm could be the perfect excuse to escape from family arguments, political disagreements and interfering in-laws. Honestly, enough said.
You Can Leave Winter Behind
Here's just a (short) list of all the things I hate about winter: shoveling snow off the driveway, scraping ice off the windshield, dressing in multiple layers and squeezing into snow pants, trying to keep mittens on wiggly toddler fingers, and having my glasses fog up every time I go inside.
All of this (and more) was left behind when I spent Christmas in Cuba. #Winning
You Can Get Your Tan On
I know that sunbathing is terrible for your skin and, as a pale English girl, I burn in seconds. However, I do love the feel of the sun's warm rays on my SPF 60 covered skin, and applying bronzer on my cheeks (which just looks weird in a cold place).
Christmas traditions can be an important part of building memories and belonging to a family unit, but let's face it, year after year they can get a bit dull and repetitive.
A break away from the same old festivities can be an exciting and refreshing change of festive pace.
It's So Romantic
During winter, I wear four layers and fleece pajamas to bed, so my husband is lucky if he sees my skin at all. However, once we arrived somewhere warm for the holidays, and I unpacked the bikinis and short shorts, I start to feel a lot more body confident and amorous.
Plus, the relief you feel from getting away from the stresses and strains of day-to-day life, can inject a shot of excitement and novelty into your relationship
Travel Broadens The Mind
I love to travel, and I am so lucky to have been able to visit most of Europe, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, select cities in America and Canada, and take multiple trips to Cuba. Each time I have left my home country and ventured abroad, I have returned with new ideas, philosophies and memories.
To travel over the holidays allows you to see another place during an almost universally happy, festive time. It's an incredible reminder that wherever you go, you can find and create happy memories.
This year I'll be celebrating the holidays in the UK and I don't think it will be very warm at all, but I know that sharing the season with my family and friends will make for an amazing Christmas holiday. One of my resolutions is to travel more next year, so maybe the following winter I'll be in for a sunny Christmas!