Christmas Chillin’ and Chocolate Fillin’ in Berlin (video)

Weihnachtsmarkt, Alexanderplatz, Berlin  Photo Russ Johnson

I am not a feral shopper, a pack rat ripping through the carrion at Best Buy on Black Friday or maniacally pounding a keyboard on Cyber Monday. I like to take the holidays calmly…and slowly. I would gladly become a standard bearer for a Slow Christmas Movement.

I can do this in Europe thanks to a glass of hot mulled wine or chocolate, a juicy sausage, a gingerbread cookie huddled next to a firepit at a Christmas Market.


Christmas on the Amazon

Amazon Sunset – Russell Johnson

Talk about a holiday escape.

A few years ago I flew from the real Bethlehem, in the Middle East, to Brazil’s  Bethlehem, to a town called Belem at the mouth of the Amazon. On Christmas Eve, after checking out the anaconda skins and voodoo curses at the local market, I began a jungly yuletide cruise. Take a look at the video and some pictures.


Looking for Santa in New York City

Christmas Tree, Rockefeller Plaza

The celebrities in Rockefeller Plaza are quite a distance away. They are next to the giant Christmas tree on the plaza, waiting for it to light up. We are stuck in a line, a block away, playing cat and mouse with New York’s finest who are half-heartedly trying to get us to move on. My wife has become quite a star herself.leading the nearby mob in a chorus of “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”

One guy yelled “shaddup! I hate dat song.”

The tree lit up, everybody cheered, we moved away with the mass into one of New York’s biggest weekends. We went in search of Santa.