How to Celebrate the Holidays Away From Home

The holidays are coming and you’re a couple thousand miles away from home with no chance of going home.

The stores are filled with joyful holiday music celebrating family time and it has you feeling a little bummed out. Last year, I found myself in that same exact situation and instead of dwelling on it too much, I decided to embrace it.

Participate in the various holiday activities wherever you are.

I went to a Hungarian friend’s house for the lighting of an advent candle, a Hungarian tradition. I looked for Szent Mikulás on St. Nicholas Day. I visited the various Christmas markets took in the atmosphere and drank some mulled wine. There is no better way of getting into the holiday spirit.

While you’re living abroad, the friends you make are key to celebrating the holidays.

They essentially become family to you while you’re away from home. My friends and I organized a Christmas party and secret Santa gift exchange. The evening was filled with delicious food from around the world, silly games, opening of presents and lots and lots of laughter. And a year later, we’re doing the same thing again, only going international. We’re all in different parts of the world now and we’ll be doing a international gift exchange virtually. The start of a yearly tradition perhaps?

On Christmas day, my flatmate and I opened our flat to our friends who were still in Budapest for a Christmas dinner. No turkey, but a roast chicken did the trick. There is no better way to feel at home then when you’re surrounded by great friends and sharing a meal together.

Call home and join in the parties virtually and catch up with the family.

With computer to computer calling easily accessible between Google and Skype, it is really easy to share in a little holiday cheer with friends and family back home. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, ask friends for their mailing addresses so you can send them a holiday card. Who doesn’t like receiving snail mail now—especially one with an exotic stamp and card in a different language? This year I have a pack of cards ready to be sent all over the world.

And if none of these things seem exciting, you can always travel over the holidays. With the excitement of exploring a new country and city, you won’t miss being at home for too long.

Are you away from home for the holidays? How are you celebrating?

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Adelina Wong

Adelina Wong, originally from Vancouver, BC, is currently living and working in the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary, where she is the Digital Marketing Assistant for Flikli, an animation production studio. She loves food and travel, and is happiest when she can combine both.


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