December is a popular tourist season for just about every destination - from Disney to Mexico. So, plan your vacation carefully with the help of our December holiday guide.
Best Holidays in December 2011 for a Vacation
In the Western world, Christmas is pretty much celebrated throughout the month of December. However, it all culminates on Dec 24th, Christmas Eve, when Santa swings by households in the cover of night, dropping off gifts for the little ones, and Dec 25th, Christmas Day - when feasts and gifts are shared with friends and family. From events broadcast on television, like the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC to local festivities, like the Denver Parade of Lights , to religious celebrations (done with special flare in Mexico), it's easy to find a great Christmas-themed even to attend on your next getaway (even in an offbeat destination). Choose from small town Christmas markets, holiday shows, and more!
Boxing DayDec 26
In Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, the day after Christmas is a holiday, too. Fox hunting, rugby games, horse races, and shopping characterize the day.
KwanzaaDec 26 to Jan 1
Symbolized by kinara candles, this holiday is celebrated in late December, and is dedicated to African American heritage. Lots of music, and decorating the home with African art and other adornments is common. Kwanzaa events happen all over the US, especially in bigger cities like NYC and DC.
HanukkahLate Nov to Late Dec
Also known as the Festival of Lights, this Jewish holiday lasts 8 days and nights, symbolized by the menorah, and celebrated with games, foods, and many other rituals and customs. Events like the Lighting of the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah in NYC, and Chicago's pub crawl Eight Bars of Chanukah help to make the holiday an exciting one.
New Year's EveDec 31
Count down to the New Year with a million New Yorkers in Times Square, amazing fireworks in Disney World, a pyrotechnics show in Prague, or Big Ben in London. For more New Year's Eve vacation ideas, check out our guide to the top 10 New Year's Eve destinations.