Whether you are a believer or not, this time of year is synonymous with gathering, good times with family and friends. Only for us travelers, this moment highlights our isolation and some develop a feeling of loneliness when they spend a Christmas abroad.
Christmas is different depending on the country where you are.
The climate :
In Australia, New Zealand or in the other countries of the southern hemisphere Christmas happens in summer. I tried to put myself in the mood by disguising myself as an Elf one year, but the costumes are not designed to be worn in summer … However, everyone at the cafe loved the idea.
And even if in Europe, white Christmases are becoming rare, the climate is our indicator of the approach of the end of year celebrations. When we change hemispheres it can be confusing and some people even forget that there is Christmas. However, a Christmas abroad will never be more exotic than in summer.
The celebration :
When we grow up in Europe, Christmas is a big part of our traditions. We meet on December 24 in the evening for a big family meal where the meal is huge and where it will be almost impossible to make the children go to bed before midnight, when Santa Claus passes. According to family custom, all or a single gift can be opened at this fateful hour, in which case the others will be open on Christmas morning. Leftover New Years Eve meals are served at Christmas lunch.
For families made up or blended each meal is spent with different people. This can quickly become a race and create a moment of stress.
In New Zealand or Australia, there is no Christmas Eve. Family meals take place at lunch and dinner on Christmas Day. The meal is less consistent, the emphasis is on the exchange rather than eating. Because of this, I often saw a simple barbecue in the garden or on the beach.
How to celebrate Christmas away from our families?
Give your time to an association:
In all cities there are Christmas meals organized for the homeless, people on a modest income or people with no family. The associations that organize them are looking for volunteers to cook, serve, organize … Participating in one of these events allows you to meet many people and have a friendly and emotionally charged Christmas.
With the host family:
Many of the people who practice Woofing, HelpX … quickly create links with the people who host them. Some may even invite you to spend Christmas with them, it’s a great way to share traditions. Make a dish of your country to thank them, this is generally very appreciated.
With friends or Backpackers:
During our trip we meet great people either on the road or by an announcement to have a drink. Some choose to share Christmas with other people in the same case. To do this, you just have to place an ad on the backpacker groups to get together and spend a Christmas abroad, take pictures while swimming or anything that you find exotic. And why not advertise the group in the city where you are and meet the locals.
This year I chose to spend a peaceful Christmas without stress. I cooked myself a nice little dish and I took advantage of not having any constraints.
Everyone spends Christmas abroad as they wish. Whether at the top of a mountain, in a beautiful place or in a living room, Christmas is a time to please, so follow your desires.
How do you like spending Christmas?