We’ve had Christmases that have brought us to tears, on account of the unpredictable mixture of champagne and hugs, sure, and the blend of excessive compliments and gifts – both the giving and receiving thereof. But also, simply, because of the love witnessed and felt, around tree and table, from day to night.

We have also had Christmases that we’re unlikely to tell anyone about. Christmases gone wrong. We’ve realised, as time has passed, that even in those latter kinds of Christmases, we had the choice to turn it all around… with letting go and loving more, with remembering what really mattered then, in that moment.

And that, that which matters most, is what we try to honour in our celebrations here on the Zambezi. When families and couples, or solo travellers, from all around the world join us in jolliness, the focus is on the little big things, like golden pineapples and napkin elephants, but also the things that stir our hearts, like gifts – the gift of time together, of kind and true words usually hidden, of embraces usually rushed, of being present for each other, and of sharing in something new – like life on the Zambezi River.

With only a few sleeps to go, here is a taste of the celebration to come… We hope that wherever in the world you may be celebrating, whether you celebrate or not, that you hold the gift of golden pineapples and napkin elephants (and all those other shows of love) close to your heart.