It’s true…Christmas is the season to be Jolly but, as an expat, it can really suck! If you just moved to a new country and, your friend circle is minimal, it can be a really hard time of the year to get through. Santa is heading towards all the shopping malls. The well-known festive tunes, and the weather outside: not a whiff of a snowflake…don’t help. Many expats get a big dose of nostalgia these days and, are in danger of feeling somewhat lonely and, blue. Christmas can be a tricky time tinged with homesickness
However, there are ways of surviving Christmas season. It can be possible to get through the day with minimal impact, and even to have a good one, but sorry to tell you, you will have to be proactive!
Here are my Survival tips for Christmas!
· Dazzling Christmas lights…
While Buenos Aires does not get dark until late at night this time of the year, there are some places downtown and around the city with beautiful light displays…Tour around. Have a look! So, move! Go out explore and check what your new city has to offer.
· Make your own Christmas treats.
Buy gifts for yourself, get the food you like, pamper yourself.
· Embrace new traditions
Hankering for your traditional Christmas with family back home will only add to the homesickness, so why not make this Christmas a time to embrace what your adopted country has to offer during this holiday. Give it a chance! If you have the option, try something new that will completely take your mind off the day.
· Share your traditions
Arrange a very merry bash at your home, invite other expats. Let other expats bring their own Christmas traditions, treats, and share the differences. If possible, get the kids decorating the place, and even organize a secret Santa gift exchange.
Sad as it may seem you’re probably not the only one who is going lonely this Christmas, so why not give up some time to help others.? Particularly elderly folks who may not have no one. Contact” Fundacion Si”. They have lots of options.
Expat life is an enriching experience, but Christmas can really be hard. Try to enjoy it and celebrate this season just as you really want. Remember many times, even at home, it could have been stressful. So, get the best out of it and have Christmas your way!
Good luck and, Mary Christmas for all of us!
Ines Estrada Vigil