We are a family with two children (ages 14 & 18 at this trip), and we would like to have a white Christmas with skiing and sledding. We have stayed in Murren (Berner Oberland Alps) several times in the summer, but never in the winter. We would like advice on what Murren is like in late December and if there are other resort towns in Switzerland we should be considering. We will be spending a week in Paris before coming to Switzerland.
Nothing wrong with Muerren for a Christmas ski vacation, just the prices, but you'll have that issue anywhere in the Alps. Most places will want a one week minimum and be charging their highest prices of the season, but that is just a function of the popularity of family ski vacations in Europe. Chris (Channel Islands & Muerren) is a frequent contributor to this forum. Maybe he'll spot this. I'll be back with his Twitter feed, which gives a good review of the entire year at Muerren.
Edit- see this: https://twitter.com/Murrenlover
It's not Switzerland but The Val Gardena in Italy is also a great ski holiday destination. Lots of choice resorts and they do not all require a week's booking. We have 5 nights booked Dec 23-28, for example, here: http://www.albionhotel.net/en/sport-free-time/winter-in-val-gardena.html .
If you're looking for ski-sledding vacation in the Berner Oberland, with all due respect to Chris from Mürren, I would go with Wengen or Grindelwald. Quite simply, the skiing on the other side of the valley is much more extensive, and frankly, much better. The Grindewald First slopes provided me with some of the best skiing I've encountered anywhere. Staying in Mürren, you're kind of stuck there, because it isn't very convenient to reach the other skiing areas.
I've also skied at Flumserberg, (about an hour SE of Zürich), and found the conditions there excellent. Like Mürren and Wengen, it's also a high altitude resort, but accessible by car. Despite great skiing, it isn't well known internationally. More like a weekend getaway for Zürich residents. If any members of your party are non-skiers, though, there's far less for them to do here than in the Berner Oberland.
Thanks to all the skiers.
Thank you all so much for your advice. We've decided to rent a chalet in Murren the last week of December 2015, and now we would love advice on where to spend a week before arriving in the BO. We will fly into Zurich and are considering Luzern. Any recommendations about Luzern or other smaller towns? We would prefer to rent a chalet or apartment.