By Emma Loubser, Deputy Travel Editor
The Croft Magazine // Emma Loubser tells us how the only thing she wraps up at Christmas is presents.
A barbecue on the beach may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Christmas dinner. However, that sense of coming together and celebrating with a few glasses too many of mulled wine is emanated around the globe, whatever the weather.
In Dubai, Christmas Day is, for many expats, filled with lavish brunches at swanky hotels decorated head to toe in extravagant Christmas decor. Hotels in Dubai offer an array of deals for Christmas brunches which go above and beyond your typical turkey, veg and roast potatoes; although these staples are all, of course, still very important to the making of a good Christmas day. If you are looking for a less traditional Christmas, these brunches usually roll out everything from sushi to chocolate fountains so no matter what you are looking for, the spread will not disappoint.
The experience is often accompanied by live music and entertainment for children, and nothing is out of reach – a life-sized gingerbread house filled with desserts aplenty is just one example of the flamboyance of the occasion. A way out of the inevitable stress over Christmas day cooking and cleaning, it is understandable how this has become such a popular option. A walk on the beach after, or an afternoon siesta on a deck chair, are welcome reminders of the perks of Christmas in the sun. For a slightly chillier festive experience, gathering friends and family for Christmas carols in the desert is the way to go. If you do this in the evening, you may even need to wear your Christmas jumper.
"A life-sized gingerbread house filled with desserts aplenty is just one example of the flamboyance of the occasion"
In Mauritius, Christmas Day showcases the multicultural nature of the island at its very best. Locals and tourists alike flock to the pristine white sands of the public beaches to celebrate with friends and family, some setting up tents to see the festive holiday through from sunrise to sunset. In another country and climate, you adapt your traditions. All through the festive season while living in Mauritius, a Kransekake adorned the family dining room table. This is a Danish almond cake, made by a family friend on the island. It is formed of layers of concentric rings of cake and is for special occasions like Christmas. It is eaten layer by layer, and each ring is split with family and friends by lifting the cake, taking the bottom layer and breaking it into pieces. The significance of this is in bringing people together, which fits well with the island and its celebratory, welcoming approach to all cultures and their festivities.
Christmas Eve itself usually sees a long sunset walk on our local beach; a tradition for us, and an early Christmas present for our Yorkshire terrier. This is followed by a quintessentially English roast Christmas dinner taking over our table and our stomachs. After presents and panettone, Christmas Day sees a return to the beach where seafood and sunshine take place of snow and sprouts.
Although Christmas celebrations may be relocated from cosy fireplace to beach shores, tradition and coming together with family and friends lie at the heart of Christmas wherever in the world you may be.
Featured image: Epigram / Emma Loubser
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