Sure there's something to be said for digging your toes in the sand on an Aussie Christmas at the beach, but it just can't beat the sparkle that comes with a metre-thick blanket of snow.
For this winter devotee, Christmas doesn't come until the flakes start to fly. You see, my childhood Christmases were the stuff holiday cards are made of – snowy scenes with frolicking children building snowmen, and white capped roofs complete with a twirl of smoke from the chimney. The very same chimney that Santa would shimmy down to leave presents before gobbling up a plate full of Christmas cookies.
The North American Christmas may see a drop in temperature, but that does little to cool down our holiday spirit. Quite the opposite in fact. The Christmas season is the biggest celebration of the year for many families across North America, and our over-the-top enthusiasm can be seen in every home dripping in twinkling lights, every shopping centre bursting with merry shoppers and every family, friend and neighbour that comes together to celebrate.
From the jingle of bells on a sleigh ride through the snow to the warming comfort of a hot cup of cocoa, here are just a few reasons why Christmas in North America can't be beat.
1. Watching the snow fall
It's true; no two flakes are alike.
2. Frosty windows
3. All the fairy lights
We're talking full Griswold here.
4. All the decorations
5. Hot cocoa with marshmallows
The best way to warm your hands on a chilly morning, afternoon and/or evening.
6. Crackling fires
7. The sparkle of freshly fallen snow
8. Reindeer are real
And they live here!
9. Mulled wine
10. Apple cider
Not the alcoholic kind.
11. Skiing and snowboarding
You've not lived until you've blazed down the side of a hill on a metal disk with no breaks.
13. White-capped roofs
14. Seeing your breath
15. Cosy winter gear
Knitted everything with duck down coats!
16. Starry nights
It just so happens the stars are at their brightest in the Northern Hemisphere winter
17. Evergreen Christmas trees
You can't beat the fresh scent of a mountain pine.
18. Snowball fights
19. Shovelling the snow
The necessary evil we all love to hate, though it's quite satisfying to clear a path through freshly fallen snow.
20. Ice fishing
21. Ice skating
22. Tree lighting ceremonies
Small town or big city, everyone has a local tree lighting ceremony. Think along the lines of Christmas parades, carollers, market stalls, activities and of course, lighting the local Christmas tree.
23. Hockey season
24. Christmas carols
25. Christmas Eve dinner
Yeah, it's a thing. Consider it a lead up to the main event.
26. Christmas Day dinner
Turkey, ham and all the fixin's. Even better, it's not too hot to cook it all!
Is there anything better than a leftover turkey sandwich? Yes! Eating everything you want knowing you won't need to slip into your swimmers for a good six months.
28. Building snowmen
29. Gingerbread everything
Cookies, houses, cheesecakes ... you name it, we can make it out of gingerbread.
30. Christmas cookies
31. Christmas movies
A Christmas Carol, National Lampoons Christmas Vacations, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful life ... I'll take them all while snuggled up in a warm blanket on the couch.
32. Pumpkin pie
33. Ice and snow sculptures
And all the festivals to show them off
34. Snow angels
36. Christmas sweaters
The uglier the better, we say!
37. Building snow forts
A favourite past time for any child with a free winter day on their mitten-clad hands
38. Sleigh rides complete with sleigh bells
39. Siddling up to your sweetie under the mistletoe
40. It is kind of a big deal
There's no other time when the generous spirit of North Americans is quite so evident, and it's hard not to get caught up in the joy of this infectious holiday energy. Anyway, who would want to? It's the happiest time of the year!