‘Christmas Around the World’ – A holiday travelog

Dean Cain and Laura McKenzie are your tour guides

Dean Cain and Laura McKenzie host “Christmas Around the World” Wednesday on The CW.

Dean Cain is a big fan of Christmas and travel, which makes his gig as host of The CW’s “Christmas Around the World” something of an ideal fit.

Premiering Wednesday, Dec. 8, the hourlong special goes to more than 30 countries and cities around the world — among them Moscow, London, Rome, Malaysia, South Africa, Mexico and Monaco — to showcase how the holiday is celebrated by highlighting traditions from ancient to modern day.

Cain (“Masters of Illusion,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”), who hosts with Laura McKenzie (“Laura McKenzie’s Traveler”), was blown away by some of the things that he learned while on the road.

Dean Cain hosts “Christmas Around the World” Wednesday on The CW.

“There’s a lot of historical significance to why they do the things that they do,” he explains, “and I found that just fascinating finding out what traditions they do and why they do it and how they light things up or don’t light things up or when they actually celebrate. Christmas is not all on December 25th, so some of them are in January and so it’s just really interesting getting into that and sort of discussing it and showing people. So I think it’s a fascinating show.”

One place Cain got to visit that held particular fascination for him was Moscow. As someone who grew up during the Cold War, he had his own mental images of what the city was like, which were then exploded when he arrived. He spent time in Red Square, got into the Kremlin and even got to see Lenin’s Mausoleum and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. But it was the Christmas lights there that really took him aback.

“The place was lit up like Disneyland times a hundred,” he says. “I couldn’t believe how many lights and how ornate things were around Moscow. It was shocking to me. So that was one of the places that blew me away more than any of the others. There was this huge ice skating rink right in the middle of Red Square. I was like, ‘Wow, this is trippy but really, really, really cool.’ And cold, by the way.”

Cain also got to venture outside of the city and into the countryside, where he got to see a Russia more in line with his expectations.

“Some of those areas were more like (what) I expected Soviet Russia to look like,” he says. “Then we saw some castles. … Russia is massive and it’s got everything. It was really interesting to go visit just because I had some weird preconceived ideas, you know, growing up during the Cold War.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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