Christmas in the Alps
Regular blogger and experienced season worker Jim, tells us why he loves Christmas in the Alps…
I love Christmas in the Alps. And if I am truly honest I am not the world’s biggest Christmas fan. Don’t get me wrong Christmas is Ok, but I wouldn’t miss it if someone cancelled it. Anyway this blog isn’t about that it is about why I love spending Christmas in the mountains. I would say that I have probably spent 80% of my adult Christmases in the mountains, which basically means that ever since I have had a choice I have tried to spend Christmas in the snow.
For those armchair psychoanalysts amongst you I would like to point out that I have happy memories of Christmas as a child and currently enjoy my family’s company. So that is not the reason I run to places like Meribel to spend Christmas.
We all associate snow with Christmas and based on the above statistic it would be safe to assume that I have seen more white Christmases than many of you readers. Instead of dreaming of a white Christmas like Bing Crosby does every year, I make sure I have a white Christmas. Although for me to claim that I only head to the mountains for the aesthetical reason of a snowy festive season would be false.
When you work in the Alps you can escape much of the festive build up, which I find tiresome, especially as this year there were chocolate Santa’s on the shelves of supermarkets at the beginning of October. You miss out on the TV hype, the songs in the shops and the endless marketing that comes with it all. However, I am now retired from seasons so this no longer applies to me.
If you are regular visitor to Meribel, and not just in the Christmas period, you will notice that it, like most ski resorts, it feels a little bit festive all season long. This has the effect that during the Christmas weeks there is little change in décor. There are always Christmas lights and it does represent what we imagine a winter wonderland to look like. So my point is that without trying it feels Christmassy without trying too hard.
Another reason is Christmas day its self. I personally find the actual day quite claustrophobic. Tied to an agenda and routine that doesn’t involve much at all. My Ideal Christmas day is, wake up, eat breakfast, put on ski clothes, go skiing, après ski, eat a lovely roast, then some evening entertainment. Obviously I haven’t included the opening of present section but you can insert it where you normally would. My preference would be just before hitting the slopes as the chances are there will be a new pair of ski socks wrapped up.
And the mention of gifts neatly brings me on to my next point. You can genuinely spend too much on presents, especially gifts that you don’t really need. It is for that reason that a holiday can help reduce the gifts due to packing space if for no other reason. That is unless you travel to the mountains in a Transit Van. The ski holiday could even be part of the present. Or this could just be a bitterness on my behalf as on average I only get two presents every Christmas.
These are a few of the reasons that I enjoy spending Christmas in the mountains. They may be slightly humbug and not full of good cheer reasons, but they are valid reasons. Let me know if you thing I am Ebenskizer Scrooge or if you have some better reasons for spending Christmas in the Mountains.