An Alternative Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year – but the bleak weather stays for pretty much the entire duration. Rather than a white Christmas, most of us can expect something closer to a greyish-brown, murky Christmas; and rather than snow, the chances are it’ll be downpour of thick, icy rain, settling into great troughs of muddy slush.

Traditionally, we hole up in pubs, restaurants and our own homes, cradling hot drinks and watching the TV, praying for this seasonal weather to abate. Why? The traditional image of Christmas comes from Germany, and is so dominated by that country’s northerly weather – snow blanketing the ground, and nights stretching on forever. But really, there’s very little reason to suffer such appalling climate during the season of cheer. If you really want to bolster your spirit this Christmas holidays, why not skip off to a beautiful, sunny retreat and elevate that time of year out of the gloom it’s so long been stuck in. And, wonderfully, this needn’t mean jetting off to Australia – one of the closest and cheapest destinations that will certainly satisfy your desire for sunshine is The Canary Islands.

These bastions of the European tourist market are warm pretty much the whole year round, and are particularly manageable (i.e. not baking) in the winter months, at a steady 20 degrees or so. This may sound relatively cool, but with clear skies and beautiful sunshine, it feels a lot warmer, and t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are certainly the order of the day. Even at night, the temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees, making for very comfortable night’s sleep – neither muggy nor zing. The absurdity of unwrapping a pair of woolly socks, or another scarf knitted by grandma is striking in such conditions. Indeed, your first Christmas in such balmy weather can be disconcerting at first, as you find yourself paddling in a warm sea humming carols. But it’s worth it. All of the good stuff is available here – the food, the music, the festivities – just without the damp squib of the weather.

After a very short period it makes absolutely perfect sense, and finally brings back some of the excitement that Christmas held in childhood. Getting to the islands is as easy as harnessing some reindeer to your sleigh and flying there yourself. Easier.

Flymonarch offer cheap flights to all of the major islands in the archipelago throughout the festive season.