Xtra Festive Family Time (and what not to pack!)
Travelling out with your little ones, meeting up with family members from multiple locations (as many of our annual return guests do) or congregating with close knit friends?
Whatever your notion of family is, a chalet holiday in the snow is always magical at Christmas. Many holidaymakers are fortunate enough to celebrate Christmas twice – with their nearest and dearest at home and away (and why not, the Queen has two birthdays!)
It’s glad tidings all round as fairy lights in the Portes du Soleil stay up well past Twelfth night (5th Jan), through the orthodox Christmas (9th Jan) and waaay beyond Candlemas Day (2nd Feb).
N.b. By the time the Aussies have their Midwinter Christmas in July, the daffodils and grass will have replaced the poinsettias and snow in the Alps by then.
Back to our traditional Christmas in late December… although central Morzine sits at 1000m (and Les Gets at 1127m), for the last 5 years Avoriaz has had the most snowfall in the French Alps – creating that Christmas card scene. Roads are cleared making all lifts accessible for skiing up to 2466m in snow sure Avoriaz. As with all modern resorts, anything less than fluffy white stuff and Santa’s team are on it with the snow cannons!
And you needn’t all be super keen skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the area – with horse drawn carts as taxis, there’s everything from snow shoeing and husky dog riding to exhilarating paragliding and relaxing spas too.
Off the hills in Morzine town there’s a unique sense of Christmas cheer for all the family, from Santa’s grottos, parades through the main square to incredible Christmas eve fireworks lighting up the mountain sky. Lots of shows happen near the outdoor ice rink, we love watching the ‘synchronized Santa’ torchlit descent of the Pleney slopes whilst sipping vin chaud or (rum and) hot chocolate!
Have Xtra festive fun on the mountain during actual Christmas by spotting tinsel clad telesieges, lifties in santa suits and then track down the best mince pie on the mountain. (Our favourites are The Grande Orse at Mont Chéry, Happy Hours at Ardent or Satellite in Morzine.)
Coffee stops, après and dinner are the ideal times to come together to regale the days missives, swapping stories and celebrating each others attitude at altitude! (Even if one of you insists on wearing a Santa onesie* or Reindeer ears.)
Last year 100s of local Santas raced through town in early December to salute the snow gods – and it worked!
Arguably the best present you can give someone special is spending quality time together in beautiful surroundings. With vast mountain landscapes outside and hygge chalets to retreat inside – you can present your best (s)elf. Don’t forget the mistletoe!
If you’re self catering be sure to bring your own trimmings as they’re a rarity in the smaller alpine supermarkets, although our suggested private caterers have their secret supplies – be sure to prebook. Alternatively our partners chalet kitchen can deliver freshly made meals on a daily basis – the choice is yours!
Here’s your self catering Festive Packing List
- Parsnips & Sprouts
- Mince Pies & Brandy Cream
- Santa onesie (if you must)
In the Alps, remember you can buy:
- The finest wines, vin chaud & cremants (fizz)
- Turkey & meats
- Bio carrots & local potatoes
- The best cheeseboard ever!
Have a truly Joyeux Noël in Merry Morzine or laidback Les Gets – contact Mountain Xtra to book your chalet.
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