Alternative plans to spend American Christmas
Without contributing to the cutting of trees, in a bikini, with skis on, with a horrendous sweater, drinking a coquito in South Beach or eating Chinese lucky cookies in Manhattan ... We tell you all the secrets of the most alternative Christmas plans (already extravagant times) in the United States.
Although in the United States you have to buy nougat in Amazon or some very specialized delicatessen stores and that they have not been raised with the melody of El Almendro, here the most typical thing is also to return home for Christmas. The Americans resign themselves to having to take a plane or drive for hours to go to spend the holidays in their home cities, with the family. Eating a lot and invariably discussing the socio-economic or political situation in the country is forced. And the truth is that The holidays are synonymous with travel in the United States.
According to a survey conducted by the online travel agency Orbitz, this year the 71 percent of Americans expect to travel at least once between Thanksgiving and New Year. On average they will spend some $ 2,195 in travel during these dates. A figure that is not negligible, especially if we consider that 64 percent of Americans expect to spend more on travel expenses than on gifts themselves and that three out of four have stated that they would prefer to stay in a hotel instead of in family house during the holidays.
But not everything is illuminated Christmas trees, perfectly wrapped gift boxes, Rough turkeys, letters for Santa Claus and kisses under the mistletoe. Americans also celebrate Christmas in a bit more extravagant or at least somewhat less conventional ways. And among their adventures during these dates, not everything is returned home.
Thus the Yankees celebrate (also) Christmas.
Christmas among palm trees in Florida © Corbis
ON THE BEACH
What need to go cold when, without even having to leave the country, you can go to sunbathe or catch some waves? The Hawaiian Islands and especially the Florida coast they are the summer and warm alternative to American white Christmas.
Driving through Miami contemplating palm trees decorated with Christmas lights or plastic flamingos with Santa's hats has little to do with the Christmas icon that Hollywood has been selling us since How beautiful it is to live! Nor walk through South beach in a bikini admiring Art Deco architecture and looking for a terrace to have a drink (a liquor based on coconut cream, white rum, milk, cinnamon and vanilla, imported from Puerto Rico and typically Christmas).
Warmer still is the welcome that Hawaii offers its visitors in December, with maximum temperatures of 28 degrees and an always pleasant minimum of 20. Nothing like seeing Santa Claus arrive at Waikiki Beach aboard a Hawaiian canoe and in Bermuda and be able to return to the office after the holidays with an enviable brown December.
In Hawaii, Christmas is celebrated between hula-hulas © Corbis
IN THE MOUNTAIN
Those who are a bit more traditional, but still not content with locking themselves at home to cook, eat and discuss, have the option of change the swimsuit for the ski boots. Colorado is the king state for that purpose with its resorts and tracks in Vail and Aspen. The paparazzi annual photographs are usually quite common with Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and the rest of the family clan wearing padded boots and warm clothes and walking through the streets of Aspen while taking a break from the slopes.
In Aspen they also say goodbye to the year celebrating their final 12 days with all kinds of activities for the whole family such as ice skating, carol choirs, Santa Claus visits with reindeer included or a contest to the ugliest Christmas sweater.
Also in Colorado, the most photographically Christmas state of America, you can opt for a train ride that promises to take your passengers to North Pole although it actually stays on a path between the very picturesque villages of Durango and Silverton. The trip is enlivened by a visit from the ubiquitous Santa Claus, reading the Polar Express book, hot chocolate and snowy mountain landscapes.
Durango © Yvonne Lashmett
IN THE CITY
Following the theme of White Christmas, New York and Chicago are two of the top urban destinations in the United States. In New York about going ice skating at Rockefeller Center It is already a classic, just like browsing through the Christmas market at Columbus Center. And although unfortunately the FAO Schwarz toy store (famous for its appearance in the film Big) will close its gigantic store on Fifth Avenue last summer, The rest of the windows of the stores of the most commercial street of the Big Apple are still a Christmas tradition that should not be missed.
In Chicago you can walk through a Morton Arboretum Especially lit for the occasion, go cold through the German-inspired outdoor market Christkindlmarket and buy a mulled wine with species (Glühwein) to get warm. Here ugly jerseys are also very much in vogue. Nothing like doing a 5-kilometer race with one of them set to prove it.
Compete for the ugliest Christmas jersey © The Ugly Western Run
Los Angeles and San Francisco are also among the 10 destinations preferred by Americans during this holiday season, according to Orbitz. In the almost always warm Los Angeles the Christmas offer includes go for a walk to the outdoor mall The Grove, where in addition to meeting the occasional celebrity doing last-minute shopping it is possible to sit on Santa's knees and give him the desired gift card, in addition to contemplating a gigantic tree and that does not seem to seem a bit out of place surrounded by people not necessarily sheltered and a sun that will rarely stop shining. In the mecca of the cinema there is also the possibility of going to a drive-in downtown in order to see a Christmas classic like Love actually.
Electric Dusk Drive In © D.R.
San Francisco opens the holidays with the making of gingerbread cookie houses in the lobbies of the Fairmont and St Francis hotels. In addition to going to see them, visitors can take a bite directly or even stay for tea. Another of the Sanfranciscan Christmas plans It involves putting on your walking shoes and going for a walk in the city's botanical garden. There are 22 hectares with redwood grove and native plants included. Admission is free on Christmas and New Year's days and flowers (although shy) are almost guaranteed.
San Francisco takes Christmas lighting very seriously © Corbis
IGNORING (OR TRYING TO IGNORE) WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN TRADITION
Not in vain the most accepted formula in the United States to congratulate Christmas is increasingly “Happy Holidays” (Happy holidays) and no "Merry Christmas." And is that Americans, always politically correct, want to include everyone: Christians, Jews (who celebrate Hanukkah in dates close to Christmas but not identical), Muslims, faithful of other religions, agnostics and even atheists.
Alternatives for non-Christmas practitioners include the celebration of winter solstice on December 21 or Festivus, the party coined by the father of George Constance in Seinfeld, on 23.
Although surely the most accepted alternative plan on December 25 is to follow the Jewish tradition and go to eat at a Chinese restaurant (of the few establishments that are open during the holidays). Among the most typical dishes during the call Jewish Christmas are the chicken at General Tso (fried, sweet and somewhat spicy) or some veal Mein (with fried noodles, vegetables and soy sauce). After seeing what the new year will hold in 2016 via oracle shaped like a fortune cookie, it's time to go to the movies (Another one of the few things that also operate on Christmas Day beyond hospitals and fire stations).
The 25 has in fact become a date full of strong premieres at the American box office. Catch me if you can, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Les Miserables, Django Unchained or The Wolf of Wall Street They have been some of the Christmas premieres not necessarily for the whole family but with more box office in recent years. This year Quentin Tarantino repeats Christmas premiere with surely nothing sweetened The Hateful Eight It may be the atypically perfect Christmas plan.
The Hateful Eight © D.R.