Sorry, but it’s that time of year again where people start talking about Christmas way too early. Still, it’s only six weeks until the big man gets here with his sack, while our American cousins get to celebrate Thanksgiving on the 22nd of the month. November, whether we like it or not, is a time for thinking about the holidays, so why not take one?
Sure, everybody loves spending them at home because it’s a time to be with the family. Plus, it’s the only time when we want it to snow to force the whole country to stop. On the flip side, taking Christmas abroad with you is a fantastic way to start a whole new tradition which might last forever. And, if you don’t like it, there is always a backup plan.
With that in mind, here are the premature yet good-to-know tips to keep in mind this season.
It’s a holiday, which makes you think of sun, sea, and sand. The difference is this getaway is different because it’s about celebrating the biggest festival of the year. There’s no time for any of the generic features of beach vacations; it’s too weird. Let the Aussies and the Saudis and everybody else down under deal with scorching heat on the 25th. For the majority of people, it’s all about the white stuff and the big chill.
The logical move, then, is to double down and pick a country where there is going to be snow. Holidaying in Lapland or the Arctic Circle feels incredibly Christmassy and adds to the experience. And, let’s face facts – it isn’t going to be a white one here.
Sledging on the 24th, feeding reindeers, visiting Santa and drinking cocoa by the fire are things you can finally enjoy for real. Check out this list for more inspiration. New York, New York anyone?
Rent, Don’t Buy
The accommodation is a big deal because you want it to feel like home in a foreign country. Although that’s a strange thing to admit, it is the truth. Hotels don’t cut it as they’re too small and cramped. Everybody is in one room and it’s impossible to find the space to keep the charade going. Try bringing in presents when the kids are asleep on the pull out sofa.
A cozy apartment for rent is a miles better option because it has extra space. Not only that, but you can decorate it so that it sets the Christmas tone. A tree might be tricky to fit in a suitcase yet all good supermarkets, and bad ones too, sell tinsel, mistletoe, and holly.
Plus, there is room to cook and have a huge dinner as you would back home. The only difference is you get to give the house back after the holiday, which is a relief!
Have Two Xmases
The gift situation comes with a clear and present (get it) danger: how do you do it? There are three options which include:
– Pack them
– Buy them when you land
– Wait until you get home
The final option is generally the best one because it keeps the surprise alive; plus, it cuts out the hassle. There is nothing as hard as trying to pack gifts in a suitcase when you’re only allowed 20kgs while spinning the children a lie. At least with a second Xmas on your return, the kids will have something to look forward to after the holiday.
Obviously, they’re going to need something to open on the 25th, so do take a couple of small things. Try and make them big in meaning to make up for the fact that the piles aren’t large. Also, you can buy the stocking fillers over there.
Christmas is a time for family, and it’s sad yet a part of life that everyone won’t be able to come. Still, it’s not like you can’t speak to them or keep in touch. With the Skype app or WhatsApp, users can video call their contacts as long as there is an internet connection. The quality is so good that it’s like being in the room with them.
What with the time difference, it might be hard to speak before the opening of the presents, but you can sort that out beforehand. The main thing is to get in touch and let the kids say hello to their grandparents and aunties and uncles.
One last thing: remember to have fun. Too many people spend their time worrying and organising that the moment passes them by in a flash.
Lots of Love