Celebrating Christmas While Living Abroad

For many people, Christmas is a special season because of the time we get to spend with loved ones at home. It’s the food, family and traditions from home that make the holidays the “most wonderful time of the year!” But for expats and students living and working abroad, spending Christmas away from home in a foreign country can be a challenge. Luckily, it can also be a rewarding experience, and you may even develop some new traditions of your own! Here are some tips for celebrating Christmas away from home:


Gather the Expats Wherever you’re living, working or studying, chances are there are other foreigners looking for Christmas plans as well! Invite your friends, colleagues and classmates to celebrate the holidays together. Organize a “white elephant” gift exchange with silly gifts to get everyone in the giving spirit.

Throw a Potluck A great way to get all your expat friends together around the holidays is around food, of course! Potlucks are great because everyone brings something, there’s no pressure on one person to cook everything, and you end up with a smorgasbord of different dishes! Cook up a few of the traditional holiday favorites, then see what everyone else contributes- you might end up with a feast from around the world!

Decorate If you’re starting to feel a bit homesick as the holiday season approaches, decorate your room or apartment with lights and simple decorations to get you in the spirit. Have your family send you a few tokens from home, such as photos or special Christmas ornaments, to remind you that you’re with them in spirit.


Video Home What would traveling be these days without technology! Skype is the most amazing tool out there for video chatting right into your family’s living room. It’s free and easy to set up, and speaking to your family through video will definitely ease the homesick pangs during the holidays.

Positive Energy! There’s no better way to lift your spirits during the holidays than by keeping a positive frame of mind and enjoying the activities you love! Think about how lucky you are to be living abroad, and the great experiences available to you. Spending Christmas away is a chance to experience something new with like-minded, adventurous people, so take advantage of this and do something fun together!

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