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8 Tips to feel at home during Christmas, while away from your family

December 20th, 2019

Expats are often seen as people who break the mould and face their fears by relocating to different countries and adapting to new cultures. They make this move, primarily to give themselves and their families a better life. But tough and determined as they may seem, expats often struggle as holidays can be quite lonely and gloomy.

If you’re living far away from your loved ones this Christmas, here are some things you could do to celebrate on your own.

1. Make the most of your time

Christmas is one of the happiest times around the globe. Countries with cold climates seem nothing short of a winter wonderland. With Christmas decorations and smiling faces all around, there is a festive air in most countries, and you could take up activities that keep you busy. Every town would have a public park or city centre that they decorate and throw open to people during festivals. Find out the closest one in your city of residence and go out with friends or colleagues. Make the most of what you have, enjoy the local delicacies, and spend time meeting locals and celebrating Christmas their way.

2. Put up a Christmas tree

Put up your own tree, even if you live alone. Keep the spirit of Christmas alive by making sure that you decorate your house, lending it a festive look and feel. This will not only take you down memory lane (in a good way) but also keep your morale up during the holidays.

3. Treat yourself to gifts

If there’s no one to surprise you with a gift this Christmas, indulge yourself. Go in for a little self-pampering. Thinking of getting a spa treatment? Nothing better! Thinking of getting a new couch for your apartment? Buy it! Think of what will make you happy and buy it for yourself. After all, self-love is really the best kind of love.

Also Read: A Gift Guide For You, This Christmas

4. Be around people

Try not to be alone during the festive season. Make plans with your colleagues, friends, or neighbours. Don’t wait for people to invite you over; instead, take the initiative to make plans with them. Make it a point to send Christmas greetings to those you work with. Christmas is about making merry and spreading joy. The more people you surround yourself with, the better you are likely to feel.

5. Do volunteer work

You may not be the only one alone on Christmas. There are so many children and older people who do not have families to spend the festival with. See if you can volunteer at a local organisation and spend some time with them. You can also play Santa Claus to underprivileged children at hospitals and foster cares. This will lighten up their day and bring a smile to your face too.

6. Catch up with loved ones back home

Thanks to social media and the internet, it’s possible to be around your family virtually, if not physically. Instead of being upset about missing out on the fun at home, be a part of it. Wish your friends and family members on video calls. Share your plans with them, try to cook the same food as they do, or colour-coordinate your clothes for the day with your family. Keep old traditions alive in your new home and share pictures on social media for your loved ones to see.

7. Enjoy a movie marathon

Watch fondly remembered movies from childhood or catch up on some new releases. Holidays are best enjoyed when spent under a cosy blanket with some hot chocolate, especially if you have your favourite actors to keep you company. You can also binge-watch your favourite TV shows. This will take your mind off things and brighten up your mood instantly.

8. Share your culture with new friends

So what if you cannot partake of grandma’s famous black pudding or dad’s special roast chicken this Christmas? Make it yourself and invite friends over. Share your family’s little Christmas traditions with your new friends. They will appreciate the gesture. 

To sum up

Christmas is the merriest time of the year, and even if you are alone in a foreign country, there’s no need for one to feel miserable on occasion. Remember that your decision to build a life abroad is in the best interest of your family and feel grateful for everything that you can do for them. Bring in the festive season being thankful and content, and when you feel lonely, you can always try any of the tips shared above.