No matter what your religion (or non-religion) Christmas time usually equates to being with loved ones, celebrating with loved ones, enjoying carols, good food and giving; presence or presents with loved ones.
Being abroad for Christmas can be so incredibly exciting (and perhaps a little daunting) especially being in the opposite hemisphere. Perhaps it’s a new Summer Christmas experience for you sipping on a cool beverage by the beach or pool with ongoing cricket challenges. Perhaps it’s a first ‘White Christmas’ with Christmas sweaters on the top of your list to buy before Advent.
This is my first ‘Winter Christmas’ and the entire lead up has been so fulfilling and exciting for me. Growing up, I’ve always watched the Christmas movies with snow, goofy sweaters and watching the film characters getting cosy by the fire places with a glass of chosen beverage in hand.
It can be hard being away from your home, your family and your Christmas traditions though. I know I’ve had my moments of thoughts creeping in and feeling that pang BUT I am also wanting to make the most of this Christmas abroad and experience it as such.
Here are some tips to help:
Look up the traditional Christmas rituals where you are living and also within your workplace. Note: Secret Santa, whether you give presents on the 24th or the 25th, enjoying winter markets or ice skating.
Do they wear certain things or have acitivites leading up to Christmas that you can do? Think: Christmas sweaters or shirts.
Organise an orphan’s Christmas party with others in the same position as you. If you don’t know anyone, keep an eye out on social media pages such as the ‘Aussies in London’ Facebook group. Our housemates are all Aussies so we all chipped in for an Aussie Orphan’s Christmas lunch at ours in the true English manner with a roast and home-made mulled wine! *This will be an annual recipe although perhaps we will have Christmas in July in Australia so it’s cool enough outside to enjoy it!
Be excited about your upcoming unique Christmas experience. You know it is a one-off so make the most of it! Wear those goofy Christmas sweaters with pride!
Talk to your loved ones back home. Naturally, you may feel a little low but just remember that you are having an incredible experience and are making memories. Remember to be grateful of your opportunity.
Admittedly, I’ve been so fortunate this year as my mum flew all the way to London from Australia for a week before Christmas. We gave her a taste of the Winter Christmas too, topped with a Christmas sweater, of course! She left on the 21st and on the 24th Kurt and I will be flying to Latvia to spend Christmas there with friends. We are incredibly excited for this trip. New Year will then be celebrated in Edinburgh for Hogmanay.
Merry Christmas Everyone! xo