For a lot expats, especially the new ones, Christmas time can be one of the harder times of the year. The holiday season is when families get together to be festive. When you’re thousands of kilometres away that is not going to be possible. So the traveling expat has to find some new ways to celebrate the season and make the most of it even though they can’t see their families. Below are a few suggestions how they can do this to the best of their ability and still have a good Christmas.
If you can make some new traditions with other expats
The first option is to find other people in the same situation as you then all join together for Christmas. This can be a great way to cement new friendships in the new country you are in as well as a way to create some fun “modern” Christmas tradition. If grandma and grandpa aren’t sitting ten feet away pretty much anything goes that you might want to do. Also, a lot of the stress some people feel around Christmas is gone. Travelers tend to be easy going people there probably won’t be expectations that you will do this, that and this for the party. Just go and have fun…
Bring some of your traditions forward, but be ready to accept others…
Everyone will like it if you bring forward a funny little tradition that your family or, even better yet, your country does for Christmas. Most people enjoy learning a little a bit about what they don’t know and will find it fun. Now with that said, don’t try to dominate Christmas. An example, there are ten expats coming together for the festive day and you come forward and say – my family does this, this, and this… Naturally every other person there could say the same thing. The trick is not to smash other people over the head with your traditions, but just dangle a few interesting ones and let them do the same.
Be ready to have a totally non standard Christmas
Christmas is turkey and sitting by a fire… bollocks it is! Christmas is whatever you want it to be. Perhaps you’re in Sydney Australia Christmas day, and you follow the old backpacker tradition of spending the day (with thousands of other travelers) on Bondi Beach. What I am saying is when away you can do whatever you want you are not held to the dictates of what other people say Christmas is.
Best case scenario, a local invites you to Christmas
Not much to say on this other then – do it! A great way to connect with the culture you are in is to see how they do the festive season. Trust me there will always be some interesting new wrinkles in how they do Christmas and you will have a great time.