Why Austrian Tyrol Is The Best Place On Earth To Celebrate Christmas

I love Christmas. Not nessasarily the religion part, though I’ll gladly take a helping of peace on earth and goodwill toward men if you’re offering. I love the traditions of Christmas. Cold weather, hot drinks, heavy foods, and recklessly spending money on my neice and nephew. That’s what I’m after. I’m also a big supporter of any holiday where coziness is highly valued, whipped cream is applied liberally, and people roam the streets singing carols.

That’s why I love Christmas in the Austrian alps. It’s all your favorite Christmas traditions turned up to 11, plus a few weird ones added for good measure. The hot cocoa is richer, the people are cheerier, and it’s perfectly acceptable to drink mulled wine by midday.

Then, at night, a giant wooly f*cking monster runs screaming through the streets. It’s a real-live winter wonderland!

This year, you might be running a little late to make it to Austrian Tyrol (Tyrol, sometimes anglicized to Tirol, is the region; the alps are the mountains; Austria is the country), but you should definitely poach some of their holiday traditions for your own. Then, in 2017, when October rolls around and the weather starts to turn, book a ticket.

If you love Christmas, there’s no better place on earth to spend the season — as a recent pre-holiday trip reminded me. Here’s why: