Christmas is a funny old-time of year. We spend far too much money on presents, eat way too much food and battle through a day with the family all under the one roof (which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it). This year I’ll be spending Christmas at home in the sunshine after the last three were enjoyed on the other side of the world in search of the elusive white Christmas that I’ve still failed to experience.
It’s somewhat of a weird experience to now find myself heading into summer and not the cold of winter at this time of year. Although it’s far more of an out of the box feeling for my girlfriend who’s never experienced a hot Christmas in her life. All of which has me thinking about how the rest of the world celebrates the big day and what different experiences you may have encountered if you’ve found yourself abroad at this time of the year.
For me the biggest experience (other than it being freezing cold and having snow) was being able to attend some of the Christmas markets in Europe. Browsing the stalls and sipping on mulled wine while freezing my ass off and trying not to slip over on the snow/ice gave me that “Christmas like the movies” feeling. It’s something that doesn’t exist in Australia (as far as I know) and really adds to the excitement, especially looking at the smiles on the kids faces.
But enough of me, I’d really love to know what you’ve loved or hated about celebrating the festive season abroad. Did you miss your family, discover an interesting tradition or enjoy it more than you ever did at home?
This year’s Christmas I am spending in China, far away from home and friends. Although I will miss them badly, I feel lucky and blessed to be celebrating it among Chinese friends and other expats. It’s a little bit different, but also awesome experience. Wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
Hi Agness, Christmas in China will be different for sure but equally as exciting I bet. Wish you all the best for the festive season.
I have enjoyed my Christmas’ abroad. Like you I enjoyed the European Christmas markets. Among the most rewarding Christmas’ were spent in Bangladesh and Egypt where the local people I worked with had parties for us – very touching considering they are primarily Islamic countries. Now in Guatemala enjoying Posadas but back to California tomorrow to enjoy the holidays with family.
John, spending Christmas in Egypt and Balgladesh would have been a great experience come Christmas time.
personally I love spending Christmas abroad! This will be my first christmas back in Oz too and I am really missing the festive feeling of Europe! Im missing the good ol’ relaxed “orphans Christmases” and am not looking to the usual fights and arguments that come with Christmas with family. Bring back the Christmas markets and mulled wine!!!
Rebecca, there is most certainly something relaxed about an oprhans Christmas that’s for sure. My first Christmas abroad was great as I just took it easy, had a few drinks with my fellow orphans and avoided a lot of the craziness. Oh and mulled wine, there’s a reason for spending Christmas abroad right there.
As much as I love spending Christmas with the family, i love having a Christmas adventure somewhere new. When I first moved to London I decided I had to have a real white Christmas, and as the UK was a bit hit and miss on snow ended up heading to Canada with friends. The novelty of waking up to snow falling, making snow angels and having snowball fights, and then coming into a big fire and eggnog (which makes so much more sense in the cold!) was just magic.
Amanda you have just summed up everything I’d want in a white christmas. I failed to get one in Europe so sounds like heading Canada way is where it’s at.
I experienced a warm Christmas for the first time in my life in Hyderabad – South India. 🙂 It was a different experience. Would love to be in Australia during Christmas.
Renuka, a warm Christmas sure is something different thats for sure. I’m somewhat confused about if I like a warm or cold Christmas now. I tend to enjoy different parts from both.
I love spending time with Family during xmas however i would love to expereince a White Christmas one year and we all know that’s just not going to happen in Australia, unless “global warming” decides to mix the weather us a bit!
I have spent Christmas abroad twice, once in Peru and the other in Saudi Arabia. I actually enjoyed it as it was something different. Being from Ireland the heat was new and although I enjoyed it I dont think I would want to do it all the time.
For me having Christmas by myself in Egypt (2012) while I was scuba diving and everything was a really great experience. But to have it with the family this year in Borneo was a lot better for the fact I had someone to share the experience with. We didn’t do presents as our presence was most important, having people with you is the greatest thing about Christmas I think.