There are now just ten sleeps left till Christmas.
And you know what that means?
An overabundance of awkward get-togethers and frantic eleventh-hour shopping await.
Sounds kind of stressful, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be.
Why not get away from it all on an impromptu last-minute vacay? That’s right, you could be kicking back in a faraway land instead of blowing all your hard earned dough on unwanted presents for your ugly relatives.
But where? Where on Earth should you go?
Chillbo’s got your back, as usual.
Check out our top 12 Christmas vacation destinations.
Majestic Winter Wonderlands
Santa Claus Village, Finland
For the child, the child at heart, and the adult who still believes in Santa (HE’S NOT REAL), few places encapsulate the magic of Christmas like the Santa Claus Village in Lapland. After all, this is where our beloved jolly present-giver resides along with his merry band of goofy gift wrapping elves.
The village, which is akin to a Christmas themed amusement park, sits smack bang in the middle of the Arctic Circle, A.K.A the North Pole. And as you might imagine, you won’t see a single ray of sunshine throughout your entire stay.
But who needs sun when you’ve got reindeer sleighs, snowball fights, and Santa’s actual fucking workshop to keep you entertained?
Sound kinda lame? Then get stuck into the mulled wine and sign up for a heart-thumping ski-doo tour instead (preferably not in that order).
Santa departs the village at 7 p.m. sharp on the 23rd to embark on his epic gift-giving mission, so you totes wanna rock up before then.
Santa's crib | © Sqv7n / pixabay
New York City, New York, USA
Stateside, you won’t find anywhere with as much Christmas cheer as the Big Apple.
On the Wednesday following Thanksgiving, the Rockefeller Center lights up a ginormous tree outside their flagship edifice. This tradition signifies the start of the festive season and has been celebrated for decades in front of a crowd of jolly onlookers.
Later, revelers come to glide around the adjacent ice skating rink, an iconic NYC Christmas experience. Right across the road is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, while Fifth Avenue has an ensemble of lux department stores with breathtaking mistletoe displays.
Oh, and hipster types would adore the fashion, food, and gift stalls of Central Park’s Holiday Market as well.
Come to think of it, pretty much the entire city kicks ass at Christmas, especially when it begins to snow.
Christmas in New York is awesomesauce | © June Marie / Flickr
You haven’t been to a Christmas market until you’ve been to Europe, and the spellbinding Nurnberger Christkindlesmarkt is about as festive as they come.
Each of the 200 stalls that comprise the enchanting market is under strict orders to exclusively sell handmade wares, meaning there won’t be a crappy Chinese souvenier in sight. Spend the evening shopping for exquisite toys, knickknacks and gingerbread men at this brightly lit locale.
For the kids, an old-world carousel, a massive timber Ferris wheel, and an uber-traditional steam train provide plenty of entertainment, not to mention the ever-popular Toy Museum.
And for the grownups, a generous serving of mulled wine will be sure to redden those cheeks as you wander around the whimsical fair.
The magical Nurnberger Christkindlesmarkt | © Gellinger / 3272 images
It’s not just the Anglos that get into the seasonal spirit as anyone who has been to Japan this time of year can attest.
In most major cities, the Christmas markets come alive as neon-infused lights illuminate the air. And when the big day finally arrives, many Japanese families head out for a special KFC Christmas feast, a steadfast tradition that dates back to the 70s.
But for a more adrenaline pumping Christmas, why not head to the ski resort of Niseko instead? You could be tearing up fresh powder in a Santa suit by day and tucking into a Christmas-ham with all the trimmings by night.
Reindeer sleighs and a whole host of other holiday goodies add to the vibe, while the Sake goes down an absolute treat.
Fried Chicken for Christmas? Get me to Japan, already! | © Tokyo Times / Flickr
Telluride, Colorado, USA
For a first-rate ski resort a little closer to home, check out the historic Victorian mining town of Telluride instead.
Perched high in Colorado’s spectacular Rockies, the village is famous for skiing, golfing, and putting on one hell of a Christmas show. The Telluride's Ski Tree - which is made from actual skis - takes center stage, while seemingly every lamppost on Main Street gets covered in a sizable layer of garland.
Remember, Telluride receives a metric shit-tonne of snow this time of year, so a white Christmas is all but guaranteed.
Above all else, don’t forget to check out the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade. During this fun-filled event, local resort staff haul ass downhill while holding onto flashlights which brighten up the entire mountainside from afar.
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A
Hotel prices in New York got you down?
Not to worry, because there’s another cool city up north where Christmas spirit is taken to the extreme.
It may not be as glamorous as its southern neighbor, but Boston never fails to put on a spectacular holiday show. Think Christmas carols, Christmas movie screenings, Christmas markets, and an enchanting array of sparkling Christmas lights.
There’s even a solid selection of restaurants cooking up turkey on Christmas day.
The Christmas lights of downtown Boston | © mykaul / Flickr
Santa Claus, Indiana
Yes, there’s a place called Santa Claus in Indiana.
And yes, it’s every bit as cheesy as you’d think.
Virtually every building in town adheres to the same inordinate obsession: Santa. There’s the Santa Claus Museum, the Santa Claus Church, and the Santa Claus Post Office, just to name a few. Shit, we’d be willing to wager there’s even a Santa Claus brewery somewhere in town.
Yet despite the unescapable kitsch, the whole village books out in December as folk flock there from Indianapolis to Evansville and everywhere in between.
The Santa Claus townhall | © Ray Schauweker / Flickr
Tropical Christmas Retreats
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Christmas doesn’t have to be an icy affair as there are plenty of warm weather environs to celebrate the event around the globe.
Case in point: Hawaii, A.K.A the land of alohas and bodacious babes. Honolulu City Lights serves as the focal point with a lavish opening parade to kick off its dazzling month-long Christmas display.
Rather than donning an overly cumbersome suit, expect to see Santa rocking a pair of board shorts and a technicolored lei.
Shaka Santa and his wife Tutu Mele rocking Xmas in Hawaii | © Cliff / Flickr
Hong Kong, China
Christmas isn’t a big deal in China, except for Hong Kong where the decorations are insane. Some 200 years of British rule has firmly entrenched the tradition which the locals celebrate with glee.
The brightest illuminations can be enjoyed from the Star Ferry or a Junk Boat as it cruises across Victoria Harbor, particularly during the Symphony of Lights laser show. Elsewhere, try the Winterfest for giant trees and bustling markets or Disneyland and Ocean Park for a kid-centric Christmas display.
Naturally, consumerism runs rampant which is evident across the city’s many malls.
A Hong Kong shopping strip at Christmas | © Tommy Wong / Flickr
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
For our devout readers, a more serious and somber Christmas can be found south of the border in this UNESCO-listed Central Highlands town.
Mexico’s strong Catholic roots mean locals take the holiday rather seriously. Expect to come across elaborate processions which re-enact ancient pilgrimages to the holy city of Bethlehem.
But once all the worship is done and dusted, the vibe takes on a distinctly different tone. In true Mexican style, the guitars come out, everyone hits the mulled wine (or tequila), and the kids start beating the shit out of Christmas themed piñatas.
Now we’re talking.
Hilltop view of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico | © marcoreyesgt / pixabay
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Why not give the whole Christmas kafuffle a miss and head to a tropical Caribbean resort instead?
Jamaica’s easily accessible Montego Bay is as good as any seeing as the beaches are pristine and there's ample tourist infrastructure in place.
All that’s left to do now is kick back on its blindingly white sand or swim through its glistening turquoise seas. Of course, now would be a good time to give your trusty Don Poolio a whirl.
Unfortunately, there’s fuck all Christmas stuff to do in Jamaica. Nevertheless, if you happen to meet the right Rastafarian dude, you could be tokin’ on a different kind of Christmas tree in no time.
Mi deh yah, yuh know | © www.david baxendale.com / Flickr
The Anti-Christmas Option
Do you consider yourself to be a bit of a Christmas Grinch?
That’s cool. Not everyone’s going to appreciate the happiest holiday in the whole wide world.
Still, if you really want to escape all the season’s greetings and festive cheer, then book yourself a flight to Ushuaia in Argentina. From there, it’s just a quick cruise to the vast white continent.
Upon arrival, you’ll be as far away as Earthly possible from that fat jolly dipshit and his stupid crew of annoying elves.
The great white continent without a Santa Claus in sight | © girlart39 / pixabay
Did any of the above destinations captivate your imagination? Well, you better whip out your credit card quick smart because they’re probably all booked out by now.
Of course, you could just go on a camping trip with your awesome Chillbo Cabbins tent instead.
Either way, Merry Christmas from the entire Chillbo team!