Each year, KTW's newsroom staff answer questions ahead of the holidays.
This week's question: If you could travel and have your Christmas anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’d hop on a plane and head to Fiji. Bring on the heat. Having spent Christmas and New Year’s holiday in Palm Springs once before, I realize the need to get farther south for the real warm weather.
If money was no object, I would gather those closest to me and charter a plane to Maui, the most beautiful place I have ever visited. There, I would rent a place right across from Kama’ole I beach, where we would stake our claim in the sand and bodysurf all day long in paradise.
Back at the beach house, Elvis’ Christmas Album, the original vinyl version, would be spinning on the turntable 24/7. The King’s Yuletide warblings would be interspersed with a healthy does of unedited versions of Baby, It’s Cold Outside and Fairytale of New York. We would drink to Christmas, with the only ice in sight being that in glasses of our neverending Blue Hawaiis.
I would probably travel to the City of Champions to spend Christmas with my family. We have not been all together for Christmas since I moved from Edmonton to Kamloops in 2006, and I know it would mean a lot to my mom. But, she will be in the Tournament Capital this year to spend Christmas with her favourite and only grandson — minus my dad, sister and cousins. My seven-year-old son will get to spend his first Christmas with his Nanny, and he is pumped.
I never thought about this question until it crossed my desk for this feature, but my answer was immediate — I would go wherever they celebrate Krampus. Which apparently is Austria. So I’d go to Austria to check out (or more) of their many Krampus parades. And for those who don’t know who Krampus is (a group that included me until just this year), he’s kind of like Santa Claus’ equivalent of The Devil. In the folklore, Krampus punishes bad kids while Santa rewards the good ones.
I would stay home with family and friends, but also travel to Saskatchewan to visit my in-laws. This year, we are skipping a trip to the Prairies, due to obscene airline prices. It is breaking our hearts and it is simply cruel to charge $1,500 to fly to Saskatoon and back, no matter the supply-and-demand conundrum. WestJet bought Christmas presents for passengers during a flashy marketing campaign, it dubbed the “WestJet Christmas Miracle.” I’d sooner see the company put that money toward making travel affordable for all the people who long to be with loved ones in other parts of the country over the holidays. That would be a true Christmas miracle.
Christmas is usually a no-fly zone for me as it’s spent with family right here in my hometown, but given the opportunity to go anywhere, I’d take my parents, brothers and grandparents to Italy. My Nonno and Nanna immigrated to Canada from the old country 50 years ago and still have family back there. Rather than the usual Skype call with them on Christmas morning, I’d bring everyone together for a Christmas in Italy none of us would soon forget.
This question can also read: Which family member(s) do you want to trigger by accidentally excluding when deciding where to lavishly enjoy a kayfabe destination Christmas?
As we get older and families and friend groups fracture and change, it becomes tougher to get everyone in one place. One can only imagine the distress the old big guy would cause if he up and flew to Greece for the holiday season or picked the wrong spot for this family-fellowship excursion.
If we’re living in a dreamworld in which everyone is available and gung-ho to travel and old friends are still good friends and you don’t get super depressed when answering lovey-dovey questions for your local newspaper, I’d probably still pick some kind of wintry compound with multiple cabins on site, places of retreat in which to recuperate when the going gets tough.
I’d head south of south of the border to Mexico. I’d like to say I made my choice because of the culturally rich way Christian holidays are celebrated there — with over the top nativity scenes and star-shaped piñatas — but really, I just want to know what Christmas feels like without all the snow. The fact that I could be on a sandy beach with the temperature just over 20 degrees by the time Old Saint Nick decides to visit is definitely a plus.