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Christmas Ski Holidays with Kids: a How-to Guide

Child skiing in Zell am See, Austria

Children, particularly as they get older, can be tricky little things. Tell them you’ve booked a family holiday for a particular time of year, such as Halloween or Christmas, and they can get all tetchy about not spending it with their friends and relatives, and about missing out on parties and other special events. With Christmas holidays, there’s the added anxieties about presents – how will Santa Claus know where to find them?!

Of course very few children would ever turn down the chance for some fun on the slopes, whether it’s your first family ski holiday or your tenth. But for those kids who need some persuading, we’ve put together our top tips for family ski holidays during the festive period.

• Get the kids excited by looking at pictures of your resort in the snow, and reminding them how rarely we have a white Christmas in the UK – not to mention get to do added treats such as husky- or horse-sleigh rides, bob sleighing and lake ice-skating! Stress too that with you freed from kitchen and cleaning duties, there’ll be lots more opportunity for unadulterated family fun together.

• Suggest that the kids write to Santa before you leave to give him the address of your hotel. In terms of presents, pack some small ones that you can take with you to fill a small stocking and tell the kids that Santa will leave the big ones at your home ready for their return. Before you leave, decorate your house as normal to keep the festive mood alive until you get back.

• Research festive events in which they’ll want to take part, from twinkling fairy-lit Christmas markets to local traditions, shows by resort ski schools, fireworks, street entertainment, carol concerts and live music, snow sculptures, torchlight descents, nativity scenes, Santa’s grottos and perhaps even the sight of Father Christmas himself on skis! In Zell am See, there’s even an annual Christmas Day ‘tree dive’ during which lifeguards plunge into the lake to retrieve a Christmas tree from a depth of 15m, accompanied by festive music.

• Check what your hotel has lined up for Christmas Eve and/or the big day itself – think the likes of Bucks Fizz, pancakes and smoked salmon at breakfast, special gourmet menus with so many courses you’ll wonder if you might explode, visits from Santa, festive afternoon tea and Christmas decoration making in the kids’ club.

• Remember that with today’s technology, not physically being with family doesn’t mean not seeing them – schedule in a Skype/FaceTime call so kids can chat with family and friends.

See Mark Warner’s Christmas ski holidays and New Year ski holidays.

Image credit: ©SCHMITTENHÖHEBAHN AG/Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus.

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