My husband & I will be joining our daughter in Europe for the Christmas holidays. She's studying abroad in Italy (college sophomore), but we'll be traveling over the holiday break with her. We'd like to spend a few days over Christmas in Switzerland. What are your recommendations for a cozy place to call home for 3 people who are on a bit of a budget (paying college tuition!), enjoy being adventurous in the outdoors - mostly Cross Country skiing though rather than downhill, hiking, etc. (our daughter already went hang-gliding & canyoning with friends in Interlaken). We're from Minnesota which gets plenty of snow & cold temperatures, so whether or not we have a "White Christmas" - really not a big deal to us. :) A cozy cottage in the Alps with a fireplace & stunning view is what I envision in my head...but then I come back to that budget. Maybe we need to be closer to a town/city for restaurants, (we enjoy good food) although I'm sure most will be closed over the holidays? Perhaps a good spa and/or sauna to warm up after being outdoors? Help, please!
I stayed at a great B&B, the Hayloft in Kandersteg in the Berner Oberland. Kandersteg is well located and is close to the stunning Oeschinen lake (UNESCO world heritage). It is also fairly close to the Jungfrau region so you can easily go there for a day. Being at the entrance of the Lotschberg tunnel, it also gives convenient access to the Wallis/Valais area.
"What are your recommendations for a cozy place to call home for 3 people who are on a bit of a budget?" What you describe in your post will be difficult to find on a tighter budget. Switzerland, to put it mildly, is very expensive, and the Alpine resorts are extremely pricey over the Christmas holiday. You may want to look at the mountain resort town of Flumserberg. It's not too well known outside Switzerland, so it may not be as expensive. Although the slopes mainly caters to Alpine skiers, they have a very long Nordic course that snakes around behind the main skiing area. If you're not completely fixated on Switzerland and you want a less pricey option, consider the Italian Alps. Italy might be better known for its sunny weather, but the Alps occupy more territory in Italy than any other country (not in percentage of territory but total square kilometers). Much cheaper than Switzerland!