10 Tips to Enjoy Christmas Abroad
Christmas is just around the corner, the streets are filled with festive lights and TV ads won’t let us forget it’s time to spend money on presents for our loved ones.
We are expected to go home and stay with our families, but what are we supposed to do when we can’t make it? The semester is about to finish and the reality that we are going to have to stay abroad for Christmas is unavoidable, but it isn’t the end of the world. You are going to experience Christmas in a new way and you should be excited! Not everyone will be able to experience this, so take advantage of it.
Here are our 10 tips to enjoy Christmas abroad:
1. First and MOST important tip: Do whatever makes you happy. Here we are going to give you some ideas of what you could do to have a memorable experience, but if there is something you don’t like simply don’t do it. This is YOUR christmas and for once you have no commitments with anyone, so if you want to spend Christmas in your pijamas, do exactly that. You make the rules this year.
2. Call up a few friends and plan something together, you are definitely not alone, there are many others just like you that are going to spend Christmas away from home, so prepare a nice dinner and maybe bring some games to spend the night together having fun. However, if this doesn’t sound appealing and you still want to spend it with your family, Skype is the answer you are looking for. Technology can take you a long way. However, I wouldn’t recommend Skyping with your family for too long if you are feeling very homesick, remember Christmas is about being cheerful and not sad.
3. Food may be a bit tricky if you plan on doing your country’s traditional dinner, but remember you are in a different place with a different culture, so don’t be afraid to try new dishes, maybe they will surprise you. Also, if you are planning on spending it with friends it would be a nice idea if you all bring a traditional dish from your home country, that way you can try many new things and you get to have your country’s personal favourite!
4. You won’t have to spend a crazy amount of money buying presents for your family, but don’t forget to buy something for yourself, being away from home shouldn’t mean you have to wake up to an empty christmas tree. And the best of all is you can’t get the wrong present! Also, if you want, you could organize a secret santa with your friends.
5. Don’t forget to decorate your room! You may be living in a small dorm room, but even a small cheap Christmas Tree bought in your local supermarket can make a difference. Decorate it with a few lights and there you have a small representation of the festive season. It’s a nice way to keep the christmas spirit alive, you don’t want to lose it just because you are not home.
6. If you are feeling specially homesick remind yourself why you are there. Go to your favourite places in town and go sight-seeing as you may find a new beautiful place that will make you happy to stay. Remember you have achieved, so much and gotten so far, be proud to be there!
7. If you don’t manage to prepare anything special DON’T WORRY, in the end, Christmas is just like any other day of the year. The sun will rise and the day will last 24h, just like any other. You can always make it a special by doing something you wouldn’t usually do, wether if it’s pampering yourself, going on an excursion or simply staying home and taking a break from all the training and studying.
8. If in the end you end up spending the holidays alone, don’t stay in your pyjamas not enjoying the day unless it is really what you really want to do. Dress up even if its just for yourself and treat yourself! The mindset you wake up with will tremendously impact your day. If you wake up ready to conquer the world you most likely will.
9. During the holidays, watch some Christmas movies and listen to Christmas playlists to get in the mood. There are some classics out there that will have you feeling as festive as ever. Maybe plan a marathon of Christmas movies, now it’s the time to watch those childhood movies we all love.
10. Try to find what’s going on in your area. In the USA there are many different christmas events going on. As a multicultural country, many traditions and events are going on on Christmas day around such as:
- Annual Lights of the Ozarks Festival – Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Holidazzle Parades – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Festival of Light – Chickasha, Oklahoma
- National Christmas tree Lighting & Pageant of Peace – Washington DC
- Christkindlmarkt – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
And these are just 5 of the many events going on.
Not being close to home shouldn’t be a reason not to celebrate and to sing songs of good cheer, christmas is here!
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!… Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!