This week Heather from Ice and Fire in La Plagne offers great advice if you're considering spending your family Christmas in the mountains.
A Christmas ski holiday can be an amazing experience for children - after all, who hasn’t dreamed of waking up to a fresh snowfall on Christmas morning! Unfortunately for parents the organising, packing, cooking and planning can turn into a bit of a logistical nightmare. So, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a selection of top tips which will make your Christmas ski holiday go so smoothly that by Boxing day you’ll be planning the next one!
Begin by planning where you’ll stay. Choose a private chalet or apartment if you want to have privacy on Christmas morning, or a larger chalet or hotel if you’ll want to socialise. Catered chalets are a great option if you want a traditional Christmas dinner without all of the cooking and washing up, and many offer a whole host of extras such as champagne breakfasts and trees with all the decorations included in the price.
Think about dates carefully. Christmas day falls on a Saturday this year which is traditionally changeover day for many tour operators but check dates carefully as many are now running the Christmas week from Monday to Monday. Alternatively choose a tour operator who normally run Sunday to Sunday or pick a private chalet operator who will have more flexibility over arrival and departure dates.
Do your homework about the resort, and speak to everyone who you normally spend Christmas with before you book – you never know, they might like to come too. The vast majority of resorts offer Christmas events like visits from Santa, carol concerts, Christmas markets etc which means that there is plenty to do for non-skiers. Granny coming with you could be a win-win situation as she gets quality time with the kids, whilst you go up the hill!
Think carefully about what you are going to do on Christmas day before you go. If younger children are in crèche or ski school during the week, you might want to consider a family activity for Christmas day instead. You could book a husky ride or a snow shoe walk, have a snowman building competition or sledging races, or ski together as a family for the day.
Plan your present buying in advance too as there often isn’t a great selection of shops in resort. Pick small, packable items and wrap them up before you travel. Once in resort pick up one or two ski themed items to bulk out the pile – sledges go down a treat especially if you can let the kids use them straight away!
There are some great offers at the moment so shop around carefully before you book. If there is a group of you travelling, consider driving which cuts down on the flight costs and lets you pack a bit more. Or look for a Christmas deal to help reduce costs. So pour yourself a glass of vin chaud, bite into a mince pie, and enjoy the magic of an alpine chalet Christmas.
Thanks for the tips Heather! Ice and Fire are currently offering free lift passes for children at Christmas - so that's a great present for families!