Hi from Rick: The Quintessential Christmas
As my family and I prepare to spend Christmas at our cabin in the snowy Cascade mountains, I can't help but be reminded of how we spent last Christmas in Europe, surrounded by new friends and old traditions.
In Britain, we saw old stone churches in hibernating thatched villages spring to life. Children carefully chose Christmas trees with branches wide enough apart to handle real candles safely. Pagan greens morphed into Christian symbols, filling a market with promises that winter will give way to spring. In Norway, candle-lit Kindergartners brought saffron buns to retirement home grannies, just as they remembered doing 70 years ago. In Italy, shepherds came out of the Tuscan hills to warm villagers with songs and bonfires as a hot-spiced vigil awaited the birth of Jesus...and as a frail but determined Pope celebrated his final Christmas Mass. And in Switzerland, holiday invitations promised guests a warm, cozy time with the strange word "FIGUGEGL" (the first letters of "Fondu isch guet und git e gueti Lune"...fondue is tasty and creates a wonderful conviviality).
I hope you've had a chance to share some of these experiences with us, watching our European Christmas TV special (airing on more than 300 PBS stations this month). Travel is more than just sightseeing...it's all about connecting with people and their cultures. And there is no better time of year to remind ourselves that, for all our fascinating differences, we are all one family on this tiny planet.
In this month's Travel News, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at our European Christmas special, a peek into London's pubs, and more. And this weekend is your last chance to take advantage of our $4.95 guaranteed Christmas delivery for all the holiday bargains at our Travel Store. (From 12/12 to 12/20 you can still make Christmas Eve for just $14.95 rush delivery.)
My family and all of us here at Europe Through the Back Door wish you a warm and merry Christmas!