mummi h and mummi g would like to wish all fellow mummigrants and their families a very merry Christmas wherever you are in this great big world xxx
Our final blog before Christmas is a guest blog from our friends at
Have a very Merry Expat Christmas
For many expats that occasional moment of homesickness is something that never truly goes away, but at special times of the year those pangs of nostalgia can get painful! Whilst Skyping your family back home can be a great comfort you can’t do it for the whole twelve days of Christmas. So, if spending this festive season overseas is making your family feel melancholy rather than merry follow our top tips for feeling close to home during your overseas Christmas.
Create: That Perfect Christmas Scene
Many expats say that the thing they find strangest about living overseas during Christmas is the weather. Tucking into turkey before roasting chestnuts on an open fire does seem pretty strange when it’s over 20OC outside, and poor frosty the snowman can feel a little out of place. But with the help of a couple of gadgets, and a teeny bit of effort, you can create that traditional Christmas scene. Of course your options are limited. For one thing you can’t change the weather…or can you? Have some fun on the big day by investing in a snow machine. You can pick one up online for under £50 (or 80 Aussie Dollars) and children will love jumping around in the magical snowflakes (adults to!) Complete the effect with a couple of blow-up snowmen (available online through outlets like Amazon) and pick up a copy of Light the Box on DVD. Light the Box will turn your TV into an atmospheric, heat free-fire for your family to snuggle around and has 12 ‘fire styles’ to choose from, including Rustic and Inferno!
Listen To: Christmas Tunes
Nothing gets a seasonal party going like Slade’s dulcet tones. The minute you hear Noddy Holder declare ‘It’s CHRISTMASSSSS!’ you know it really is. Although Christmas classics are pumped into stores across the globe from November, singing along to your most loved songs from home can fill you with festive cheer (whether you can carry a tune or not!) So if you’re missing the bells ringing out for Christmas day, download some festive favourites, carry on rockin’ around the Christmas tree and have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Eat: Traditional Seasonal Treats
There are foods which just taste of Christmas, certain treats which can take you back to childhood celebrations with one bite. However, whilst you can enjoy local Christmas dishes or follow old recipes and replicate dishes from home there are certain Christmas standbys you might not be able to get your hands on. Be prepared and track down your guilty pleasure well in advance so you don’t miss out. Online international food shops like http://www.britishcornershop.co.uk sell classic Christmas puddings, Bisto gravy, Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, and that absolute essential – massive tins of Quality Street.
Play: Classic Christmas Games
There’s nothing as festive as playing games with the family. In sunnier expat communities the games are often sporty or played outdoors, but if you long for a jolly good charades session around the Christmas tree invest in the Little Book of Christmas Games by Collins publishers. There’s something for everyone in the range of classic games laid out in the book, whether they like traditional card games or musical/activity/guessing/pen and paper based activities. Parlour Games for Modern Families is a similar book and is just as affective at creating yuletide family fun. Both texts can be purchased from online book sellers for under a tenner (or 15.5 Aussie Dollars). But if your children will only play something battery driven and bleeping you might want to try Gibsons Pass the Pud Family Game http://ow.ly/gg24S.
Watch: Christmas TV Specials
No matter how good your intentions may be for having wholesome festive fun away from the box, snuggling in front of the TV with the family to watch a Christmas special (be it Eastenders or Downton Abbey) is an important part of the day for many people. Of course time differences and limited access can be a real issue, but there are ways of connecting to the telly you love no matter where you are. For example, My Expat Network will give you access to UK TV for just £5 a month (7.75 Aussie Dollars). Although you’ll still have to work around the time difference, if your Christmas just isn’t the same without watching those favourite dramas, soaps, sports and comedies this is a fantastic way of getting to see them and connecting with home at the same time.
Whilst these activities might transport you to Christmases past, you should also embrace the traditions attached to your Christmas present. Get involved with local activities, try local festive foods and enjoy the far from frosty weather!
This article was provided by The Expat Hub – the number one online stop for expatriates looking for advice, support and information.