Spending Christmas Away From Home

This year will be my second year not being able to go home for Christmas. Ahh, the joys of working retail and my family living 11hours away! Luckily, my boyfriend’s family has graciously taken me in with open arms both last year and this year to spend the holiday with them, and I am forever thankful for this.

Today I thought I’d share with you how I’ve made my Christmas that extra bit special as it can often be quite hard celebrating such a family oriented holiday away from home, and as this is not the first time this has happened, I feel like I am somewhat of an expert on the matter haha.

1) Communicate as much as you can

With the power of technology and online communication, catching up with your family long-distance has been made so much easier. During the year I tend to call my family once every couple of weeks, or message (Facebook or text) at least one of them every few days, which is great for updating them (and me!) with the goings on. I am also a pen-pal to my Nana (which isn’t a Christmas ‘thing’, we write to each other throughout the year and have done since I moved away from home). With the holidays approaching, we’re picking up the phone a lot more often, and like last year, will have a long chat on Christmas Day to wish each other a good day and what we have done/will get up to.

Keeping the communication open, where you’re able to send photos, share anecdotes and just have a good ol’ yarn can make being apart form your family that little bit easier. What my family do is all sit around the phone and put me on ‘speaker’ so we can all have a chat together (which is handy as what used to happen was that I’d talk to one parent, then repeat the same stuff to the other parent then just a lot of to-ing and fro-ing goes on!).

Also, my parents and brother keep an eye out on my social media incase we don’t get a chance to talk so that they can see what I’m up to, then we bring it up when we do get the chance to talk. Or we just bombard each other with messages on Facebook to read with updates and news that happens.

2) Make your room festive

My boyfriend got me as an early Christmas present last year a miniature Christmas tree from Typo so I could set it up in our room as he had a miniature tree of his own. Paired with some starry fairy lights and our Advent Calendars, we have our own little Christmassy corner in our bedroom and I love it so much. Subtle but sweet!

I’ve started buying more ornaments from David Jones as there’s a fantastic “miniatures” range there and at the moment I have a little cupcake and a gingerbread man and a glass angel on top, along side the pugs and dachshund doggy decorations and mini fairy lights my boyfriend gave me along with the tree. Over the years I want to fill the tree up even more, and eventually when we/I get a big tree the decorations can then be used on that (or I keep the little one up too!)

3) Have a get together with friends Last year my flatmates and I put on a Christmas dinner and this year another group of friends and I are had a Christmas dinner together. There’s something about being gathered in the kitchen together, fumbling over stuffing a turkey/chicken, not knowing how on earth to cook a roast, discovering allergies midway through said cooking that (surprisingly) makes it quite fun. We’re all in our early twenties, and not many of us have cooked a roast before (my boyfriend and I attempted our first roast last year and it turned out a real treat!), it makes it all a lovely learning experience.

4) See your local city’s Christmas tree and Christmas lights My family has a tradition that every year we hop into our car and drive around the city late at night looking at all the houses lit up with lights, we’ve done this for as long as I can remember. The local newspaper back home has a competition of which hous or business can decorate their building the best and they list all the addresses who have entered so everyone can go and see them. There’s one street (pictured above, 2014) that has about twenty or so houses on it and every single one always have their lights up every year. They even have Santa there, they close off the road, sometimes there’s a mini concert, parking goes on for miles up the side streets… it’s nuts. I have yet to find something that’s just as good here as it was back home, but I have to say that the city’s Christmas trees are amazing.

5) If you don’t want to be alone this Christmas, don’t be! As mentioned before, my boyfriend’s family have very kindly taken me in for Christmas (second year running!) which I am forever grateful for. They make sure that I’m not left out at all and make sure I am able to join in on all the family bonding; I helped pick out their Christmas tree, I helped decorate said tree and I even get my own little stocking to open up on the 25th! I am so happy that they are happy with having me around on their family festivities, it makes me feel less bummed-out for not being able to go home for the holidays! If you know you won’t be home for Christmas, make wherever you’re going to be on the day as close to ‘home’ as you can!

Hope you enjoyed my Christmassy post and finding out what I get up to in the Christmassy season! Are you going home for the holidays? Or are you not, like me? What kind of Christmas/seasonal traditions do you do with your family or friends every year? I would love to see if I can try or do some more festive things before the 25th!

- Louise x


Originally published at www.louiseberyl.com.

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