How to make the most of Christmas away from home
Just because you’re not at home, surrounded by extended family, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and enjoy Christmas in the same way. Of course, logistics might mean there are a few differences, but celebrating can take on many different forms.
If you’re halfway through a long travel trip and Christmas falls in the middle of it, how can you make sure the day is still equally as special, if not more so?
Celebrate the local way
If you’re in a country that does celebrate Christmas widely, then why not find out what your other ex-pat friends are doing and try to get invited to take part in their celebrations. I’m not suggesting you invite yourself, because let’s face it, that would be rude, but instead why not drop a few casual hints and see if you can wangle yourself an invite? Even if it’s just a meal out together, something different means you’re celebrating.
Keep it simple
It might be difficult for you to celebrate in exactly the same way, e.g. the huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings, but doing something a little out of the ordinary could be just as special, such as a BBQ on the beach for instance, or dinner outside on the patio when you’d normally just grab something on the go. Special doesn’t have be huge, especially if funds are limited.
Plan in advance
You will probably want to call home or Skype on Christmas day, to say Happy Christmas to all the family etc. It’s a good idea to plan this in advance, so your family know exactly when you’re going to call. We all know how busy Christmas morning can be, so make a date and stick to it, and make sure you’re somewhere with a good wifi connection, to avoid any internet-related problems or disappointments.
No, I’m not talking about Santa, but why not invite a friend out to spend Christmas with you? Not only will you get a slice of home and something a little different, but your friend will also get the experience of Christmas away from home too. This is especially good if this is your first Christmas away from home, as long travel adventures do have a habit of making you home sick occasionally, so having a slice of home with you on the special day will alleviate any loneliness and make the whole thing more memorable, without tears.
If you’re travelling in a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, such as a Muslim country for instance, it might be a good idea not to flaunt your religion around too widely. Of course you’re well within your rights to celebrate, because that is your personal choice of religion, but do it in a more low key away, simply to respect local cultures and their own way of life.
Download some tunes
Before you travel, or even during your travels, download a few Christmassy songs onto your iPod or your laptop, just to get you in the festive mood! Half the fun of Christmas is the cheesy music and you don’t want to be missing out!