Christmas in Switzerland has always been a strange time for me. In fact, after my first Christmas in the country I went home, looked my partner in the eyes and said, “Never again. California is our official home for Christmas. ” What could be a better gift than flipflops, snowboots, plastic snowmen, fire hazzard level Yuletide lighting and shopping til you’re dropping below the palm trees of an open air mall? Christmas in California has always been #thebest in my book, but,”Hey Google where is the best Christmas in the world?”
Until late December in 2020, my children and I had confirmed flights scheduled to LAX California, but just like that, our happy holiday was ripped from our grasp. #Lockdown #Pandemicproblems
We were stuck in the cold, gray, less than jolly Christmas drabness that I vowed to never be stuck in again. Ugh.
IKEA here we come! Nothing was in place for being at home in Switzerland, so with only a few days left, we scurried over to our one-stop-shop IKEA to pick up all of the things that make a Christmas merry.
CHA-CHING! Christmas was getting merry indeed. It turns out that stores are very motivated to get rid of everything festive at deep-blue-sea discounts and we were very happy to help the items go. A fully decorated Christmas tree with 50+ ornaments, Christmas lights, and decorative Christmas star topper, YES! Thank you my Swedish angels. Baked salmon with a beautiful dill sauce, cranberry sauce and a fluffy potato mash. Let’s add Sweden to the list of future culinary adventures destinations.
Christmas with my babies was a fabulous success, gray skies and all. They were very happy on Christmas day to see Santa Claus’ generosity stuffed under our artificial Christmas tree and waste no time littering the floor with my hard work. They played for hours with their toys, we enjoyed a beautiful dinner and all was well in the world.
A few days after the holiday, we decided to take a drive to Zurich to deliver a cake and take in the festive ambiance of Zurich just before the new year. As we looped around the lake at Bellevue tram station – sparsely decorated for this pandemic holiday-, we reminisced about Christmas in California recalling the big and brightly lit houses in our uncle’s neighborhood in Mission Viejo, we laughed about the sunny Santa’s Village parked right in the middle of the road at The Grove in West Hollywood, and we talked about the memorizing festival of Lights at Riverside’s landmark hotel the Mission Inn. Those were the days. We looked at the lights on the streets of Zurich and Aubrey asked, “Mommy, who celebrates Christmas the most? Or, I mean the best with decorations and stuff?” My American pride made me want to scream out, “California! Duh!” but I reserved this caprice for myself and instead turned the question back around on Aubrey and Adrian, ” Where do you guys think that Christmas is the coolest?
The two laughed and a lively debate erupted with us throwing all kinds of random countries in the mix. I think Aubrey may have even mentioned Israel!? #random
“Hey, I know!” I announced cleverly, ” Let’s ask Google!”
“YEA! That’s a great idea Mommy asked Google,” the two cheered, stumbling over each other’s words.
“Hey Google, where is the best Christmas in the world?”
What came next was a wave of smiles and laughter AND judgment about Google’s own bias. In fact, we’ve talked about it many times since.
In fact do me a favor Go GRL, I’m curious as to if Google’s answer to this question depends on where you’re located in the world, so ask Google and let me know what it tells you in the comments below.
All I know is that 2020 was my first wonderful Christmas experience in Switzerland and it wasn’t because of anything more than being determined to and focused on sharing a memorable experience with my children. So no matter what happens this holiday season I wish you keen focus on making this the best holiday season you’ve ever had, wherever you are.