Expat Christmas holidays far from home.
So Christmas is coming (or ‘The Holidays’ if you prefer!) and you’re going to be a zillion miles away from your family in a land that might not even have the same festive traditions as you. What to do? Well fear not, this time of year is an amazing time and the mere fact that you are somewhere a little bit alien should make it even more fun than normal. Trust us, we’ve been through this experience a few times 🙂
What, no turkey?
What do you think of when you normally think of the festive break? —What will you miss the most? We’re talking food aren’t we? No disrespect to our doting families but this time of year is all about eating and drinking. How are you going to survive not having that turkey/goose/la Bûche de Noël with all the trimmings on the table come the feast of Noel. Well the answer is to embrace the culture of your host country!
Break out the BBQ. Indulge in some games of beach cricket seafood, bowls and frolicking on the beach. Do what the locals do. You won’t find those TV specials and nights at the pub down under and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all about creating new traditions and hanging out with the locals. Sure, it’s a good idea to bring some traditions with you but the key here is to mix and match. Remember why you came to your new country in the first place and embrace it’s culture. If that means making a snowman out of sand instead of snow, that’s cool.
Celebrate like a Filipino…
Exchange presents as before but why not do it the Filipino way. They have a tradition a bit like Secret Santa but it’s called kris kringle or monito – monita, and it starts in early September! More information here on the Philippine expat website, Philippine Primer.
… And yes of course you should call your family. They would probably never forgive you if you didn’t! You could even make it an online Christmas party. A virtual opening of gifts across continents. But while it’s easier than ever to connect across continents with the aid of the internet, it can exacerbate feelings of loneliness, so don’t overdo it. Keep it short then go out and immerse yourself in the local traditions.
Check out the full article on the Currency Fair website for more ideas.