As you take to the sofa, ready to explode from having eaten your own bodyweight in turkey and stuffing, pudding and cream, do you sometimes wish you had that weightless feeling again
For years, divers who like to get up and go have traded in the Queens Speech and Indiana Jones for the fun of rolling off a RIB in the Red Sea, or sightseeing with sharks in the Indian Ocean.
There seems to be something for everyone at the countless centres around the globe where Christmas is another diving day, but with a few special extras to make you feel all seasonal.
From sun-seekers singing carols to December diving around the Christmas tree, the chance to break away is there for the taking.
Here are some of the centres that keep their doors open during the holidays and have plans to pamper us. There may yet be time to book a festive getaway!

Poseidon Divers,
Dahab, Egypt

There is something almost biblical about being on a camel and trekking across the desert on Christmas Eve. Even more so when your destination is a Bedouin tent under the star-splashed skies of the Sinai in Egypt.
This is what Poseidon Divers in Dahab offers each year to guests who want something other than singing Slade songs and guzzling Sakara beer.
Starting at the world-famous dive site of the Blue Hole, camels are loaded up with all the dive gear and begin their journey along the coast to the Bedouin settlement of Ras Abu Galum.
The reefs in this area are rarely dived and, after the obligatory hot sweet tea, divers can submerge to catch a glimpse of what the coral looked like before the crowds hit the Red Sea.
While you dive, the local Bedouin prepare a feast on an open fire along the shore. Once dry and warm, everyone gathers round the fire, trading stories and singing songs. There is no electricity in the settlement, and the only light is that of the fire and the stars. Shooting stars are guaranteed as you sleep out in the open.
Christmas morning starts with a dive on the reef followed by breakfast, and if your teeth have not already rotted there is more sweet tea. To spare the still-numb bums from the previous days journey, Poseidon sends its dive boat to fetch the group back to the dive centre, where a traditional Christmas dinner awaits.

Davy Jones Diving,
Gran Canaria

Just four hours from the UK, Davy Jones Diving in the Canary Islands makes a great destination for winter diving, with its sub-tropical waters kept warm by the Gulf Stream and a sea temperature of about 20C.
The resort is extremely popular with both British tourists and divers over the festive season, and decking the halls is one tradition that is just as important on this volcanic island as it is in the UK.
Each year local Spanish divers sink a Christmas tree in the Arinaga Marine Reserve. Beautifully decorated with tinsel and sparkling balls at 20m, its a must visit for visitors on Christmas Eve.
In the past, many divers have exchanged gifts at the tree, though bear in mind that this may not be the most ideal location to present someone with an iPhone.
No tree would be complete without an angel on top, and at this particular location it might just be an angel shark that spreads its wings. A sight of one of these docile and approachable sharks would be the perfect gift before tucking into lashings of turkey and cervezas.


Rising Sun Dive Centre,

Kuwa na Krismasi njema is Swahili for Happy Christmas, and on the Indian Ocean spice island of Zanzibar, Rising Sun Dive Centre aims to make it a memorable day for its guests. The centre now has two bases in Zanzibar and operates from five major hotels.
The oldest and most established of these is Breezes Beach Club & Spa. This is next door to the Palms, where guests will celebrate Christmas together with a beach party and bonfire on Christmas Eve.
A DJ and live band are being flown in especially for the party, with plenty of ridiculously sized rum measures to get the feet shuffling.
Two very special dives are planned for Christmas Day. The first will be the famous Blue Wall, starting at 35m.
The second will be to a very popular shallow reef with good chances of seeing turtles, rays and whitetip reef sharks, as well as the resident population of leaf-fish and nudibranchs.
After the dives, the RIB speeds divers back to the resort for a massive Christmas brunch and glass of bubbly. For New Years Eve another beach party is planned, with bonfire and a fireworks display over the Indian Ocean. Another band will be flown in with a DJ intent on keeping guests partying well into 2009.


Thresher Shark Divers,
Malapascua, Philippines

When it comes to Christmas celebrations, the last thing you would imagine would be ladyboy fire-breathers and Michael Jackson impersonators.
Yet at Thresher Shark Divers in the Philippines, if last years celebrations are anything to go by, nothing marks the birth of baby Jesus better than the busting beats of Billie Jean with a transgendered lady and her balls of fire!
This year is the fourth anniversary of the centre, based at one of the few places in the world where thresher shark sightings are commonplace. An equally big party is being planned for this Christmas, and it includes the spit-roasted suckling pig on which the traditional Philippine celebration dish of lechon baboy is based.
Christmas Day starts with an early morning shark dive followed by another dive at Gato, the marine reserve and sea-snake sanctuary. Santa hats will then be provided for customers, who are encouraged to turn up in fancy dress of any description.
The centres new restaurant, Silver Palms, will lay on a traditional British turkey dinner with lashing of liquids. Sounds tasty.


Island Divers,

Christmas without mince pies would be akin to Scottish rugby without an excuse. Unheard of! This is why Island Divers, which says it is the longest-established British dive centre in this Canary island, ensures that the pies are in generous supply each year, for the many British divers who make the short trip to find warmer waters there.
On Christmas Day the tradition is to have a special dive in the morning where all divers have to wear a Christmas hat.
We really have seen some fantastic ones in the past years, says the dive centre. After the dive we eat mince pies and toast the day with some local wine in the Spanish tradition.
This tradition seems to involve being forced to drink Rioja from a bladder on a RIB while in a drysuit. You have to hand it to those Spaniards!
All the slightly tipsy post-dive participants return to the marina as the celebrations continue over lunch in the local eaterie, where stories are shared and a good time had, we hope, by all.



For those trying to escape the hustle, bustle and commercial side of Christmas, a stay at the Southern Eco Villages is sure to leave you relaxed and recharged with world-class diving right on your doorstep says UK operator Oonasdivers.
Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami have festivities that kick off from Christmas Eve, which is when some European countries start their celebrations. So divers from the UK will double up on party songs, albeit in German.
The Christmas feast is slightly strange, with traditional turkey and trimmings combined with a selection of oriental dishes, and not forgetting the ridiculous 23 desserts from which to choose. Divers may need to adjust their weightbelts on Boxing Day!
During the dinner, members of staff run around dressed as Santa Claus, handing out gifts as traditional Christmas songs are played.
The villages offer a large number of shore-diveable sites, and famous locations such as Elphinstone, Abu Dabbab, and Nakari are all readily accessible by either hardboat or RIB.