“You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”
Anybody who’s ever seen the movie A Christmas Story remembers that line. All Young Ralphie wanted for Christmas was a Red Ryder BB gun. His mom thought he was too young. His dad thought, “boys will be boys.” And throughout the course of the film, Ralphie stated that he wanted that Red Ryder BB gun more than 25 times. Ralphie was a dreamer. He knew what he wanted, visualized it, said it out loud and, in his mind, already had that Red Ryder BB gun long before Christmas or his winter holiday ever arrived.
Growing up, my friends teased me by saying that I was the Black version of Ralphie. Nerdy, coke-bottle, brown-framed glasses, and born in Indiana. Yup! I was the Black Ralphie.
Although I never asked for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, I was like Ralphie in other ways. I, too, have always been a dreamer. I’ve always visualized what I have wanted, over and over again, until the goal has been attained. Like Ralphie, my manifestation produces the end result I desire even before the day arrives.
Last year, I had the opportunity to see one of those visualizations come to life—I visited a European Christmas Market. The beauty of the small, alpine village of Annecy, France was enhanced by the festive nature of the season. And the “Venice of the Alps,” turned into Santa’s playground once the sun went down, lights turned on, and the wooden chalets opened their doors for business.
So with the winter season fast approaching again this year, here is my holiday travel wish list:
Dark winter day (and night) skies become illuminated by the Aurora Borealis in the northernmost region of Lapland, Finland. Head there for the abundant snow, to learn about the indigenous Sami people, or for the once in a lifetime experience of sleeping in a glass igloo under the stars at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Like Finland, you’ll find plenty of snow in Quebec. But the city also offers winter holiday visitors a chance to experience some of the most authentic European-style Christmas markets—outside of the European continent. In addition to the markets, visitors who stay long enough to ring in the new year will experience one of the world’s liveliest New Year’s Eve Celebrations (which is sure to be even bigger this year as America’s little brother to the north celebrates its 150th anniversary).
The land of chocolate, beer, and French Fries topped with mayo. If that’s not enough, a stay in Brussels also awards the opportunity to visit the fairytale-like medieval town of Bruges; stop off and experience the city of Ghent; or catch a bus/train to one of the neighboring well-connected countries for a day-trip.
What countries/destinations do you have on your holiday travel wish list?