All I want for Christmas is a comfortable plane seat

Dec 5, 2019, Author: Carly Ritz

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Keen to attend the festive season Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines? Check out our Hello Joburg bucket list on where we would like to celebrate Christmas next. 


A big white Christmas 

Of course, you want to experience a white Christmas at least once in your life. You’ve seen way too many movies of happy people sitting at the fireplace drinking hot drinks and waiting for Santa to not. You’re looking to experience a snow-white Christmas, consider one of these cities and activities as a bucket list must! 

New York City: Christmas in New Yok is a winner for the kids, from tree lighting ceremonies to the incredible display of lights … and that’s before you visit the M&M’s store in Times Square. Those keen on the chilly outdoors must visit the Winter Village and go ice skating in Bryant Park.  

Lapland, Finland: It’s one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights – need we say more?It’s sure to be a Christmas you’ll never forget!  Also, legend has it that this might be the original home of Santa Clause. 


Quebec City, Canada: Just Google Quebec in Christmas and let the pictures do the talking. The Christmas feeling is hard to beat – think the famous German Christmas Market and carols at the Notre-Dame de Québec. 

When in Rome 

As the home of Catholicism, spending Christmas in Rome is pretty sacred and holy. If you’re keen on a midnight mass to remember, there are two to consider but plan ahead. People flock from across the globe to attend midnight mass at the Vatican to catch a glimpse of the Pope. But if that sounds a little crowded, then the service held at the Pantheon should do the trick. The ceremony is in Italian and both locals and tourists come in their numbers to hear the singing that’s said to fill the former Roman temple. Even if you’re not the religious type, the ambiance is pretty inspiring. 


Dibs on Dubai 

Christmas doesn’t necessarily have to be snow and hot chocolate every time, but in Dubai you’re still guaranteed all the fuss and fun. With great weather – as opposed to some of the summer temperatures that actually force people so stay indoors – spend your festive season on Dubai’s spotless beaches, eating and frolicking. Geared towards tourists, you don’t have to worry about what to do either or where to grab that last-minute turkey (these birds are big in Dubai over the season) because everything is open, from hypermarkets to malls and bars. 

Festive magic in Manila 

Talk about Christmas lights on steroids! This festival kicks off mid-December in the San Fernando in the Philippines. A competition of giant lanterns to start celebrations of the Christmas season, the images that come out of the so-called ‘Christmas Capital’ of the Philippines is something to behold. Imagine it – giant lanterns, each one more intricate and meticulously designed than the first, as artists from far and wide come to compete in the nighttime spectacle.  

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