Okay, so we don't usually blog travel guru Rick Steves, but we caught the Christmas in Europe special on PBS last night. While enjoying a fantasy European vacation from the comfort of our couch, we were reminded that wherever you go the holiday season is centered around the home. Here are a few of our favorite traditions...
Christmas in France
Favorite Things: Giving less, giving quality. Roasted chestnuts, oysters, patisseries, ice skating under the Eiffel Tower. Drinking red wine and eating potatoes by the fire in Burgundy. Delivering baskets of food to neighbors in the French countryside. Buying truffles at the Saturday market.
Christmas in Norway
Favorite Things: Celebrating Santa Lucia day with white lights, greenery, lots of candles, and choirs.
Christmas in Germany
Favorite Things: Nurnberg Christmas Market, homemade gingerbread, and hot spiced wine.
Christmas in Austria
Favorite Things: Mozart's music, blessing the home with incense for the New Year, advent wreaths, the spot outside Salzburg where Silent Night was sung for the first time 200 years ago.
Christmas in Switzerland
Favorite Things: wood-burning ovens, fondue parties, torch-lit sledding, long dining tables lined with candles.
Images via Rick Steves' Europe.