Last updated 21 July 2016

Spending Christmas Away From Home

Spending Christmas Away From Home - Expatfinder

I’ll be home for Christmas (if only in my dreams)

The best way to celebrate Christmas is with family. Staying together during the holiday season is one of the highlights of this merry occasion. However, for expats living far away from home, spending the holidays  in the host country can be a bit depressing. No matter how much an expat likes to travel back home and spend Christmas with their loved ones, sometimes it just not feasible. 

Expats may, however, alleviate the homesickness. The idea is to keep traditional family celebrations and include some new ones. Expats have different ways of coping overseas and overcoming homesickness and culture shock during the holidays. Some would prefer to keep their Christmas celebration as traditional as possible by getting touch with family and sticking with traditional preparations, while others would prefer to celebrate it like the locals do.

For those who wish to stick with traditional practices, here are some tips on how Christmas can be celebrated:

Christmas Decorations
To get that same Christmas vibe, expats may decorate their homes the same way they do it back in the home country. Wreaths, Christmas trees, colourful lights and Santa Claus figurines are some of the usual yuletide decors. Keeping the ambiance as cozy and homey as possible is ideal.

Start a Video Call with Family on Christmas Eve
Getting in touch back home through video conferencing these days is as same as with being with family and friends back home. Thanks to technology, communicating has become easier and more reliable. Some of the recommended communication tools are Skype, Viber and WhatsApp.
Click here to find out more about helpful messaging apps an expat may use.

For some expats, adapting the multicultural ways is a better way of coping with homesickness:

Attend Christmas-related Events in the Host Country
Associating with locals and co-expats in the host country can be helpful. In fact, it is like hitting two birds with one stone -- having to enjoy the yuletide season and being able to make more friends in the host country. 

Volunteer for a Charity Work
The true spirit of Christmas is sharing. There are numerous groups that organize gift-giving events at orphanages and other related institutions. Expats may either volunteer in organizing the event or donate food and gifts.

Here are some international non-government organizations that an expat may reach out to for some help:

Outreach International
Outreach International is a Missouri-based organization that aims to guide the needy and helpless towards development and a brighter future.

World Vision International
World Vision is one of the largest relief and development organization in the world. It aims to help out the less fortunate most especially children through the adopt-a-child program.

Christmas, Holiday, Expats

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