More than perhaps any other time of year, our memories of the holiday season are usually linked to a specific place. Whether it's your childhood home, your current one, or that of a friend or family member, we associate certain houses with the festive season. For my part, I have a list of dream holiday homes- some real, some imaginary.
My parents' house in Canada is the clear winner here. With family and friends close by and 25 years of our Christmas memories contained within its walls, it's where I most love to spend this time of year. I'm flying home next week for my first Canadian Christmas in two years, and I'm looking forward to indulging in all my favorite traditions, from decorating the tree (our family motto is "If you can still see green, there aren't enough ornaments!") and baking with my sister, to opening stockings on Christmas morning.
I dream of spending Christmas in a beautiful property owned by the Landmark Trust, a UK-based charity which rescues buildings of historic and architectural interest by converting them into holiday lets. My family are all keen Landmarkers, between us having stayed in close to 20, though we've never managed to find ourselves in one over the holiday season. We did attempt to spend Christmas here last year, but an unusually snowy December in England scuppered the travel plans. I'd still love to try a Landmark one year, which I imagine would be like stepping back in time for a simpler kind of holiday.
The Hollywood Dream
Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie house, right? For me, it's the Watertown, Connecticut beauty in The Family Stone. Maybe it's the picture-perfect, snow-dusted exterior that I love so much, or perhaps it's the interior scenes, which reveal a home as cluttered and chaotic as the family dynamics in the film. Who knows- maybe I'm just down with any family who incorporates watching Meet Me in St. Louis into their holiday traditions! Either way, this house is real and warm and one I'd gladly spend some time in.
So, what's your dream holiday home? Is it somewhere you actually spend time year after year, or a festive pipe dream?
1. Photo by Hilary Büsing, used with permission
2. Ascog House by oosp, used under Creative Commons
3. The Family Stone via Hooked on Houses