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How DO you do a Christmas ski trip?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
One option for this winter is to take the family skiing over Christmas ... But how does everyone actually deal with what is normally a big old celebratory, present-heavy, food & booze-laden affair but in a totally different environment?

I can imagine that even though there's buzz of it being snowy and it's probably a bit more festive looking, you have to accept that you don't have standard number of presents for the kids, the food situation is vastly different from home and you're not going to be falling asleep in front of the telly mid-afternoon.... hints and tips from parents who've done it before are most welcome.

We've not settled on anything yet; budget is 'adaptable' at this point (read: depends on credit card balance/savings) so we've not really settled on where to go and how to get there. Driving to France is on the cards so we can take more of everything with us an that could mean we may self cater. But I also like the idea of flying out to a catered place, maybe a chalet or maybe a nice hotel with a festive family feel. Are the family TOs like Ski Famille and Esprit really good at making it a festive home-from-home or should we pack some tinsel just in case?

Will be interesting to hear how you guys have done it previously - over to you Smile


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 11-09-19 11:05; edited 1 time in total
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I've done Christmas in the Alps for most of the last 20 years. We don't have kids, so that part of the equation doesn't apply to us, but we love being away at that time of year. It's good to get out to the Alps early in the season, there's a nice atmosphere in resort and it's nice for both of us to be able to relax together after an inevitably hectic autumn. Mostly we self-cater so have something approaching a typical Christmas dinner, have some Christmas decorations up and exchange a couple of small gifts. We could fall asleep in front of the TV if we wanted to, but skiing is normally a more tempting option. For us it definitely feels like Christmas, but with added skiing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Having done this with family I`d have to ask, how old is everyone?

When the kids were small we had Xmas morning at home, with all the presents etc, then set off for the Alps in the afternoon, or boxing day, or whenever, depending on the days of the week etc.

As the family grew up, we have had 'our' Xmas Day at home before we departed (before the 25th, but once afterwards) then spent the actual Xmas day skiing and doing whatever took our fancy. I have always taken a few decorations with me, and we have always made a nod to Xmas traditions by doing whatever the culture in the area we are in was doing and having home made crackers on Xmas Day with a 'little something' of a present inserted. We`ve done the usual family games wherever we are when it seemed it would work that way.

Its always worked well and always been fun. There is something quite freeing from not having to cook a 'turkey dinner'
on Xmas Day!

Just a little addendum, I`d say the worst Xmas`s we`ve had in the Alps have been in catered chalets. The attempts to re-create Xmas day have fallen flat. Not that the attempt wasn`t good, it just didn`t seem to work on both the occasions we`ve tried it.
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Have a meal/present opening with the grandparents before you go, then on Christmas morning give the kids some more small things. Possibly buy them a couple of things over there. Toy shops in Europe are way better than anything in the UK.

Christmas Day out there is just another day. [Just about] everything will be open, and lifts/skiing/ski school goes on as normal.

Most hotels do a special meal on Christmas Eve. They tend to make more fuss over New Year.

It's great to be in a good hotel over Christmas and have loads of lovely food prepared for you with the added bonus not just of snow but no washing up snowHead snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It depends how wedded you are to "all the trimmings". We're not, and have enjoyed lots of Christmas holidays in the mountains (and quite a few in the tropics too when I was working abroad). Practically anything is superior, in my book, to eating and drinking FAR too much and sprawling fatly in front of the telly whilst kids who already have too many toys get even more. But if that's your idea of a ""traditional family Christmas" it's probably cheaper than skiing! Kids over 6 can understand that more skiing =fewer presents and can play a part in the family conversation. One year our three got envelopes on Christmas day with scratch cards and a note saying that their main present would be a holiday in early January (or cheap...). I also wrapped the scratch cards in a note suggesting they discuss how, if at all, any winnings should be shared. That gave rise to a fascinating discussion. Two of them agreed to share winnings 50/50, the eldest opted to keep it all to himself. The sharers won a small prize. Laughing
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Ha ha, you said doodoo Laughing

Only trip I did at Christmas was on my own, it was lovely. Late decision to book with Crystal (was only my third or fourth trip and hadn't been brave enough to DIY), self catering apartment in La Tania. Christmas day was the last of the trip so I got up and out early, spent the day skiing, treated myself to an overpriced steak for lunch while sitting on a sunny (but cold) terrace. Then i skied some more, right up to last lift, enjoyed some stunning views as the sun set



Then I skied down the mountain and had a relaxing evening with a few beers and some super noodles.

It didnt really feel that Christmassy, other than the torchlight parade and fireworks on Christmas Eve...but I did spend most of my time either skiing or in the apartment feeling knackered because of the skiing.
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I ski most Xmases. I don't bother with any of the Xmassy crap. Last year's Xmas dinner was in a Mexican Resto somewhere south of SLC after a day "sleighng"Alta.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We’ve gone skiing for Xmas and new year almost every year since the kids were born, they’re now 9 and 12.

We always fly, take relatively few presents (and some are skiing oriented like new goggles or poles), open these on Xmas morning before a normal ski day, and have an alpine Xmas dinner at a favourite local restaurant.

We self cater or eat out the rest of the time, staying in our own place.

When we get home we have a second Xmas, opening all the presents from under the tree.

The kids love this. They get to go skiing, and they get two xmases.
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We have done Christmas during a ski trip whilst self catering in Austria. Took a few small gifts to dole out on the morning to the kids, a bit tricky to hide/disguise big ones and keep wrapping pristine when travelling. The larger gifts were remained under the tree at home until we got back.

We booked a Christmas Eve dinner, which is the big occasion of the season, in a local hotel and it turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. They put loads of effort into it, food, entertainment and decorations.

Rather than have a TO ersatz UK Xmas dinner go and experience what the locals do.

The resort itself was fully operational, you wouldn't have known it was Xmas really. The crowds turned up after boxing day.
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@Specialman, I've done almost ever christmas for the last 25 years in the Alps taking our son from baby to adult with us. It is so much better than christmas in the UK where every thing closes down and you feel you've lost a day of your life doing nothing.

We have our own apartment now but even before we would take a small numbser of gifts with us to open on christmas day but do most of the gift stuff before we left for the Alps. The big christmas celebration in most of europe is chritmas eve and to a large extent christmas day is just another day. I like that. If we were feeling rich we'd do what @ster, did and go for a blow out on christmas eve, but we don't and have the blow out New Year's eve instead.

Christmas day we get up a bit later than normal perhaps open presents then go skiing. I the evening I cook a normal meal, but have a cristmas pudding afterwards. Actually the normal meal may consist of oysters from the shop (this is tradditional at christmas for some reason) then a roast chicken from the shop. TBH I think turkey is terrible to eat and we only have it at christmas because of the american influence instead of the more tradditional christmas fare.

Go skiing at christmas and you'll never regret it.

As an aside @snowdave, I bet whoever got the ski poles for christmas was thrilled to bits.
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Have done Xmas in Europe, and in the States. Don't do the presents thingy. The trip IS the present! Also, ease up on the alcohol. If you need it to have fun, then you are missing out on life. wink
I like Christmas in Europe. Go the week before, and things are generally not too crowded. Leave before New Years. Actually Jan. 1 is a great day to fly on. Cheap fares and half empty planes!
In the States, it tends to be very expensive and crowded the week before and all the way to the New Year. I like to get out the 2nd week of Dec. or the first week after New Year's if the snow is good.

Best Christmas Eve meal ever was Chez Vrony, Zermatt. Magical!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Depening on the ages and gender of your children keep the gifts small and useful for the trip. New earphones, bath bombs, Lego sets, puzzles, lipsalves, phone cases, slipper socks, face masks, pj’s, gift cards etc
If you do go self catering and want the Christmas dinner without too much effort look at hu.ski , they do prepared Christmas food (and other things) that you can pick up in Bourg st Maurice or get delivered to a lot of French resorts in the area.
To decorate the apartment when we rented, a few cheap garlands, battery lights and candy canes (B&M,Primark) in the bag seemed to do the job fine, we always fly and had plenty of room. I did put a cheap artificial tree in with the skis once.
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Some really good advice here, thanks so far

CaravanSkier wrote:
Having done this with family I`d have to ask, how old is everyone?


Kids are 5 and 10, total novices, and myself and the missus have only done one week on skis after a decade or so on snowboards.

CaravanSkier wrote:
...Just a little addendum, I`d say the worst Xmas`s we`ve had in the Alps have been in catered chalets. The attempts to re-create Xmas day have fallen flat. Not that the attempt wasn`t good, it just didn`t seem to work on both the occasions we`ve tried it.


That was one thing I thought could happen... you have your own way of doing crimbo and someone trying to recreate it for multiple families is definitely up against it, too may expectations.

PamW wrote:
...One year our three got envelopes on Christmas day with scratch cards and a note saying that their main present would be a holiday in early January (or cheap...).....


Great idea. I think that even if we drive we'd have to limit the number of prezzies we take and like other have said, the ski holiday is the main event, so to speak. Thankfully my kids are quite grounded and go berserk at their stocking full of novelty crap. We sometimes think that we could just end it there and they'd be happy Very Happy

SnoodlesMcFlude Do-do corrected Very Happy

snowdave How do you find the self catering aspect? I've not done it for years, and then it was a group of adults in their 20s who survived predominately on cheese and beer. I can't remember how it is to do a week's shopping in a resort, especially without having the luxury of a car to travel out to a big supermarket.

Muppet wrote:
To decorate the apartment when we rented, a few cheap garlands, battery lights and candy canes (B&M,Primark) in the bag seemed to do the job fine, we always fly and had plenty of room


That is right up my missus' street... she'd be turfing my gear out of the suitcase to make way for all sorts of decorations Very Happy
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You know it makes sense.
At 10 your eldest could be party to the decisions, by the time my youngest (of 3) was 10 they were all quite happy with the lets going skiing over Xmas instead of having large presents etc. But when my eldest was 10 he was not, then again the youngest in a family often follows the lead of the eldest. How your 5 year old feels is something you`d need to work out, belief in FC and chimneys etc etc Very Happy We didn`t want to do anything that reduced the magic feel for little ones.

You`ve hit the nail on the head, about every family's perception of Xmas being a little different. We concluded that if you are going to change the way your family spends Xmas as much as it does by being in a different country, then fully embrace that. My kids really enjoyed Xmas Eve: FC arriving on skiis, having hot chocolate and watching fireworks, followed by a super meal in a typical local restaurant. The different foods served as the 'Xmas meal' were a great talking point. I know our (now grown up) sons really enjoyed learning about the different cultures and traditions. When self catering Xmas day spent skiing and playing out in the snow made them very happy, as did coming back in to 'Bouche de Noel' Laughing


Along with travel in general, those types of experiences certainly helped the 2 of mine that now live overseas embrace the local culture and way of life.
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CaravanSkier wrote:
At 10 your eldest could be party to the decisions......


Thankfully he's probably more buzzed by Christmas than the 5yo... we took them to Disneyland on the way to the south of France this year; we thought our youngest would go ape when we said we were stopping at Disney (she was thrilled) but Charlie, my eldest was like a wild animal, excited beyond belief. Sometimes I forget that even though he's 10 he’s still a child and that he’s quite innocent when it comes to things like Father Christmas and the whole magic of the festive period Smile

For me it was more the idea of not having a lot of the standard Christmas trappings at hand although both me and the missus have said that spending it in a ski resort would be a really unforgettable thing for the kids, providing the resort is one that really steps up to the challenge and puts on a great show.

I really like the idea of a break at this time of year… if anything, it avoids the hassle of having to face school fines and it means we don’t have to take additional holiday off. I also think that once Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are over, it’s just another bit of time off for the kids and better to have some skiing to do than being in the cold, wet, dark UK Smile

Just need to look at deals and see what’s out there…
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We go every Christmas - TR links here

We drive and self cater.

For us it's as much about getting away from Christmas as anything. Our respective wider families have got used to us going so no debates/hassles about who goes where/hosts. No TV which we see as a positive. We take a few small pressies and a small tree with lights. That's all.

Food wise we don't do anything special. We try to cook nice meals and have nice food and drink while skiing as a matter of course.

Because my wife is German and I'm not traditional Christmas Eve is the present opening and anything else Christmassy (I think we took crackers once!) and Christmas Day is just a normal skiing day.

The lifties usually hand out festive chocolates on Christmas Day and there are people with tinsel and Santa hats when out skiing.

Christmas Eve iirc there is usually something going in the station/village though we don't always go out and get involved.
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Specialman wrote:
snowdave How do you find the self catering aspect? I've not done it for years, and then it was a group of adults in their 20s who survived predominately on cheese and beer. I can't remember how it is to do a week's shopping in a resort, especially without having the luxury of a car to travel out to a big supermarket.

We take a few things and buy almost other stuff (meat, veg, milk, wine, beer, cheese) somewhere like Albertville when driving in. Bread and pastries being the obvious exception. I would say you could get away with just using the local supermarket/shops, you would just be a little more limited and more expensive. You might want to take things like tea bags, herbs with you.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We only take one or two small presents with us for Christmas day but try to make them good or something they really want. Santa comes while we are away and there is full present opening when we arrive home.

We have tended to self cater which I mean eat out or get pizza each night but we book somewhere we think will be nice for Christmas day so its sort of special, usually staying in on Christmas eve. It's one of the things from an adult point of view that I like, that we do not have the big event at home where we are cooking/cleaning/fitting toys together/laying tables/ transporting grandparents/ etc. Get up go skiing and nice meal in the evening is much preferred. The day itself is just like any other ski day but the whole christmas week in resort feels a bit more like Christmas.

We usually have a meal with the grandparents few days after or on new years day so they still get that side of it. The kids just seem to accept its Christmas day and are happy with their present or two but also enjoy heading home to see if santa has been.
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Specialman wrote:
For me it was more the idea of not having a lot of the standard Christmas trappings at hand although both me and the missus have said that spending it in a ski resort would be a really unforgettable thing for the kids, providing the resort is one that really steps up to the challenge and puts on a great show.

Well it certainly is doing away with the trappings but really the show is the holiday and the mountains IMO/IME.

Specialman wrote:
I really like the idea of a break at this time of year… if anything, it avoids the hassle of having to face school fines and it means we don’t have to take additional holiday off. I also think that once Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are over, it’s just another bit of time off for the kids and better to have some skiing to do than being in the cold, wet, dark UK Smile

That is it, well it can be cold and dark, even wet in the mountains it's for us a great time to go. As you say the kids are off, easy to extend the bank holidays from work. It's great to get out in the fresh air and spent some quality close family time together.

Specialman wrote:
Just need to look at deals and see what’s out there…

It's not bargain time at Christmas but a lot cheaper than Feb half term or new year week.

Stay somewhere with tree skiing as the weather can be a bit wintry and higher up unpleasant. Though if it's sunny of course you can still ski there.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Been several times over Christmas - the way we always did it was to have Xmas Day at home the week before. That meant we could have family over, do all the presents etc - it was also quite nice to then relax when everyone else was panic-ing.

We took a few Santa presents for the day itself and frozen leftovers - that way we could have a mini Xmas dinner.

Personal view but Xmas Day in the Alps is just another day in the life of a ski resort - there is usually some festivities Xmas Eve but otherwise it is just what you make of it. Don't get me wrong - would much rather spend day in Alps.

We usually went skiing in morning, had a light lunch on slopes, finished early and went sledging then had Xmas Dinner and santa presents - he always managed to sneak in when we were out sledging (he delivers late in alps as he had to find note at home and then reschedule wink )
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Given spread of family (neices, nephews, aunts and uncles), we tend to have family Christmas at my sister's on or about 29th / 30th. Works well for everyone, with no pressure on deciding which of partner's families to be with on 25th - it's the 'other half', which gives them brownie points, and we have a second go at it a few days later. Sweet
.

While we're away, a few small presents, a morning on the mountain, then late lunch with friends from the village at our favourite slopeside restaurant, and a slightly unsteady ski home about 4:30 / when lifts close. Evening in the wine-bar.

Pretty damn perfect IMHO.


PS - in Les Arcs, for the littlies, you can arrange for 'Santa' to deliver the present on Christmas Eve. You book a time on line: they text you 5 mins before he is due to arrive, you surreptitiously slip the presents out of the front door. Then 5 mins later, there's a knock, a jolly bearded man in a red suit, and all the presents returned to excited children. S 'lovely.
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I tend to try and work xmas and as such am always traveling through airports etc at that time, having seen it so many times, take any wrapping paper with your and do it there, or gift bag it. cuts down on the wait in line and also the surprise spoilt when the border security at either end takes your bags aside and does a through empty and swab search.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
As a divorced dad who alternates Xmas and New Year every year, I can say that over the last 5 years, the kids a) love having a second Xmas with whatever parent it is b) That we've switched to experiences for the kids instead of toys. They're 8 and 12 now and looking forward to a spa day for my daughter and a trip to see Man City play someone at their stadium for my son. Previously the 12 year old got to go driving at Mercedes World in an A Class and GLE.

Take a xmas pudding though (splash out on one from Fortums - they do a light one called something besides Xmas pudding and it was incredible)
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Whilst I have never taken my kids I have many memories as a kid myself and my parents always adapted the presents. We spent many Christmases away and had smaller gifts (both in size and monetary value) but also we were told we would be taken on trips or events etc as well.

It was perfect and the excitement of Christmas was massive with the novelty and excitement of the family holiday.
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johnE wrote:
@Specialman,
As an aside @snowdave, I bet whoever got the ski poles for christmas was thrilled to bits.


Leki race poles are something of a badge of honour so my kids were very happy with them!
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Specialman wrote:
Some really good advice here, thanks so far

snowdave How do you find the self catering aspect? I've not done it for years, and then it was a group of adults in their 20s who survived predominately on cheese and beer. I can't remember how it is to do a week's shopping in a resort, especially without having the luxury of a car to travel out to a big supermarket.


It’s our own place so we have decent equipment (proper oven, sharp knives, utensils, rice cooker, freezer etc.). We always have a car and generally stop at a big supermarket on the way to resort, but if not we can always find enough at the local supermarket as long as we go in with the mindset of “what is there here that I can make meals out of” rather than “I need the ingredients for my own special duck a l’orange receipe”. We usually over cook so it’s 3 days of cooking, 2 days of eating out and 2 days of leftovers.

Our kids don’t really know any other way of doing Xmas - we’ve only been at home once, Asia a couple of times, or skiing. I don’t foresee us doing another Xmas in the UK.
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We do Christmas in the Alps every year, the children are now 9 & 7. In most respects Christmas day is the same as it would be at home, we don't ski, as the kids want to stay at home and play with there presents and generally chill out. I drive a van out before Christmas with all presents, a freezer filled with food including all traditional xmas stuff, any ski stuff needed and our 5 pets. We own a house out there so have a garage full of Christmas decorations and lights, which the family put up the day they arrive. Some years we have a house full for either xmas or New Year and other years we're by ourselves. I can't see that we'll ever spend xmas anywhere else, certainly in the short/medium term.
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Quote:

How do you find the self catering aspect? I've not done it for years, and then it was a group of adults in their 20s who survived predominately on cheese and beer. I can't remember how it is to do a week's shopping in a resort, especially without having the luxury of a car to travel out to a big supermarket.

We have an apaprtment in Arc 1600 and our shopping habits vary, sometimes we do a big shop in the Super U in Bourg st Maurice and load the car up, but then there is the hassle of finding another parking space on return to the resort. Last christmas we could not be faced with the hassle of digging the car out and driving so my wife, son and me put big rucksacks on and went down on the funicular one evening. Mostly , however, it is a daily trip to the local Sherpa; see what they have and make the most of it. OK each shop probably costs 10 euros more, but it is far less trouble. Sometimes, however, as a treet we stop off at the bigger shops in Arc1800 and get more exotic items and ski back with a bottle of wine and some meat in the pockets, a lettuce sticking out of my jacket or other veg in interesting places. It is not the cost that is the main concern but the small stock and that they run out of things frequently (hint: get the milk in the morning while buying the bread and breakfast things)

Basically relax and enjoy it. If all else fails get a pizza in, a couple bottles of wine and a pack of cards. It is all so much more relaxing than being at home over Christmas.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
[quote="johnE"]
Quote:


. It is all so much more relaxing than being at home over Christmas.



I wholeheartedly concur!
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I’m going to buck the consensus on this one.. I’ve been skiing only once over Xmas. It was a really sad and sorry affair. Well not the skiing but the actual day. We hadn’t booked anywhere for dinner and the town was quite small and sleepy so we ended up eating in the restaurant which was a bit rubbish. No traditional Xmas food, just a ham joint and a baked potato Crying or Very sad we went to Winter Park CO. I vowed never again since then, though I think it was because I missed my family if I’m honest. Xmas for us is a big family thing. We always go after Xmas and for new year instead now.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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We went skiing over Christmas for the 1st time last year, to a Chalet Hotel with Rocket Ski & had a great time! We don’t have children but there were lots of families there with children of all ages. We took some decorations including a tiny Christmas Tree with lights for our room, some small pressies & of course a box of chocolates! There was a huge Christmas Tree in the dinning room. Christmas Lunch was served at 3pm & was a traditional meal with all the trimmings, including a glass of bubbly to start us off. We had a lovely morning skiing with a festive drink on the slopes and lots of friendly festive greetings being shared. The evening was spent in the bar with fellow guests playing party games! Great atmosphere in resort all week - though, being France, the real party started after Christmas as they got ready for the New Year!
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v1cky24 wrote:
I’m going to buck the consensus on this one.. I’ve been skiing only once over Xmas. It was a really sad and sorry affair. Well not the skiing but the actual day. We hadn’t booked anywhere for dinner and the town was quite small and sleepy so we ended up eating in the restaurant which was a bit rubbish. No traditional Xmas food, just a ham joint and a baked potato Crying or Very sad we went to Winter Park CO. I vowed never again since then, though I think it was because I missed my family if I’m honest. Xmas for us is a big family thing. We always go after Xmas and for new year instead now.
Christmas, especially Christmas Eve, is a big deal in many ski resorts across the Alps. Fireworks, Santa arriving, torchlight descents, reindeer, etc, etc. I've never eaten out for dinner on Christmas Day so no idea if restaurants do 'turkey and all the trimmings', but that's what we prepare for ourselves. With a bit of Christmas TV, lots of FaceTime chats with family back home and a couple of small gifts exchanged, it's a less frantic version of what we'd get if we were in the UK, with the opportunity to ski for the holiday and on the day itself.
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Rob@rar sounds much nicer than what we experienced. I have always found New Year to be good in the alps but it was certainly a different bag across the pond. The Christmas Eve parade was a torchlight procession down the home run but that was literally it. Nothing going on in the town etc. Sad!

Have been to Canada as well and returned home on Xmas eve.. didn’t seem like much going on there either ?
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rob@rar wrote:
v1cky24 wrote:
I’m going to buck the consensus on this one.. I’ve been skiing only once over Xmas. It was a really sad and sorry affair. Well not the skiing but the actual day. We hadn’t booked anywhere for dinner and the town was quite small and sleepy so we ended up eating in the restaurant which was a bit rubbish. No traditional Xmas food, just a ham joint and a baked potato Crying or Very sad we went to Winter Park CO. I vowed never again since then, though I think it was because I missed my family if I’m honest. Xmas for us is a big family thing. We always go after Xmas and for new year instead now.
Christmas, especially Christmas Eve, is a big deal in many ski resorts across the Alps. Fireworks, Santa arriving, torchlight descents, reindeer, etc, etc. I've never eaten out for dinner on Christmas Day so no idea if restaurants do 'turkey and all the trimmings', but that's what we prepare for ourselves. With a bit of Christmas TV, lots of FaceTime chats with family back home and a couple of small gifts exchanged, it's a less frantic version of what we'd get if we were in the UK, with the opportunity to ski for the holiday and on the day itself.


When we have eaten out on Xmas day in France, it has never been an especially 'Xmas' meal, I always think its more akin to our Boxing Day. But we have still had some nice meals. Xmas Eve meals have usually been more 'festive', but French festive not English festive. I`ve not seen roast turkey on any menus!
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It would make sense to me if xmas eve was a bigger deal in most European resorts

most of Europe does xmas on the 24th and the odd few have extra dates around st nicks day. (date is different depending on location between 5th and 16th dec)

working at sea for it with mainly European captains we have always had feasts on the 24th sometimes 23rd as well and the. the day before and on New Years eve.

Occasionally if there's enough brits we can get a xmas curry knocked up on the 25th, but most of the time, the left overs are ground and lobbed to the sea.

were very bah humbug, often don't even drag in a tree and stick lights on it. still have a family roast that day, but I find the whole thing so boring that its nicer to take the extra trip and flout to work, last year was the first in a long time off and it was as I remembered. before its been mainly Africa (weird enough seeing winter scene cards in north bristol, but even more strange to see a fake igloo and fir tree in the Ivory Coast ) or anywhere else the ships are working when the north sea is too rough to be productive. A resort trip is appealing, but not appealing enough to pay the extra costs that come with a popular week.
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Quote:

Xmas Eve meals have usually been more 'festive', but French festive not English festive. I`ve not seen roast turkey on any menus!

Which is a good thing
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

Xmas Eve meals have usually been more 'festive', but French festive not English festive. I`ve not seen roast turkey on any menus!

Which is a good thing


Laughing
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Christmas is refreshingly different here. Not an over-commercialized competition for how much people can spend. The Advent period sees each town with its own Advent market and tree, Glühwein, carols by candlelight, Krampuslauf. The main event is on Christmas Eve with big evening meals for families and friends (I think goose is traditional, but it can be anything), small gifts for children (from the 'Christkind', St Nikolaus did his thing a few weeks ago), mass for the religious folks. Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day are just normal public holidays.

It's quite a nice week for skiing, very family-orientated, not as busy as New Year week.
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We did Xmas in La Rosiere in 2017 - went with crystal and stayed in posh self catering apartments (although we ate out pretty much every night).

Was lovely - Christmas felt much more low key and not the usual big build up stress followed by a flat feeling on boxing day.

Skied on Christmas day of course - then had a lovely meal . Slopes were quiet - we had tonnes of fresh snow.

Saved presents to open on New Years day back at home then went out for a pub lunch on New Years day (at normal prices rather than the rip off Xmas day)

Kids were not bothered (they were 10 and 14).
Even though we got stuck in a snowmageddon event on way home - I felt more refreshed than any previous Christmas.

Did a new year trip in Selva last year and was too busy for me - plus we got back and straight into work (and still had the Xmas stress in UK to deal with).

Off to Saalbach this Christmas!! Cannot wait.
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Quote:

I think goose is traditional

As it used to be in England
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