Twinkling lights, brightly decorated Christmas trees and shop windows, and outdoor ice-skating rinks make December an enchanting month to be in Western Europe, where every region has its own traditions.
Christmas markets are held across many European counties, particularly Germany and Austria. Germany's best is Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt. Warm your hands through your mittens holding a hot mug of mulled wine and find that special present.
Italian churches set up an intricate crib or presepe (nativity scene) in the lead-up to celebrating Christmas. Some are quite famous, most are works of art and many date back hundreds of years and are venerated for their spiritual ties.