How to Cope with Holidays Abroad

Last Easter I got a little homesick. I was Ok until mom started relaying the brunch menu: mac & cheese, honey ham, steamed asparagus….oh man!

So I decided I needed a few coping mechanisms to surviving holidays when I’m far from home. Here’re the 3 I came up with:

1. Take the party with you. The last couple of Christmases, my family has spent traveling…to Hawaii, to Spain. This is a fabulous solution – not only do you get to travel, but you have your family members around you to celebrate the festivities. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Incidentally, when my family travels, we have a “no present” rule since the holiday gift is the trip itself. (Well, maybe we buy a few stocking stuffers – but no big gifts! Besides, no one will want to haul the loot home.)

2. Celebrate in a special way. Don’t try and re-create a traditional holiday. Christmas on the beach in Thailand is not the same – so don’t try and make it the same! Instead enjoy a particularly Thai-type of day.

For instance, eat some amazing Thai food, go for a Thai massage, treat yourself to some scuba diving. You’re not denying the holiday, you’re just re-interpreting the day to match your environment. Thai-rific!

3. Make your own holidays. This year we celebrated both Mother’s Day and my birthday at the end of May. Now, Mom and I were meeting up just 10 days after Mother’s Day, so it made sense to save the card and gifts and celebrate together.

What came as a surprise though was my birthday celebration on the same day. (My birthday is 5 months later in October.) Mom had brought my b-day presents early so that we could celebrate in person. Basically, now I have 2 birthdays…my actual day and the day I happen to be with family = Fun!

These are my survival techniques for holidays spent away from home. They work! Well, they work as long as family members don’t torment you with the holiday menu…

Have you spent holidays abroad? What are your survival techniques?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 and is filed under How to Cope.

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