Coming from a temperate climate, I am used to cold winters and the rare white Christmas. To get into the Xmas spirit, I need to immerse myself in festive decorations, constant exposure to Christmas music, visits to Christmas markets and – of course – chilly weather (and hopefully snow). Too bad the latter cannot be influenced, especially when celebrating Christmas abroad in a hot climate. But all hope is not lost. This is how to get into the Xmas spirit, no matter what. So if you are planning on switching up your Christmas celebration this year, these tips are for you.
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Watch Christmas Movies
I feel like every Christian country has their own special Christmas movies. (Are Home Alone and Die Hard a universal thing, though?) When you visit Germany or the Czech Republic, you GOTTA watch “Three Wishes for Cinderella” (and explore Moritzburg Castle near Dresden). English classics are “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Scrooged” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas“. What are your favourites?
Listen to Christmas Songs
Preload your phone with all your favourite tunes, so no matter where you go, you have them at your fingertips. After all, music can heavily influence your mood. And if you are sick and tired of “Last Christmas” or any other Christmas song that is assaulting your ears, you can simply pop in your headphones and listen to your preferred choice instead.
Have a Barbie (by the Beach)
This might not feel festive at all, but Australians love to put on the Barbie (BBQ) and – more often than not- hang out with their friends on the beach. If you are celebrating Christmas abroad under the warm sun, why not embrace it?
Bake Christmas Cookies
A German tradition that I adore is DIY Christmas cookie baking. We seriously go all out and bake trays and trays of different ones. To gift. To keep. Yes, and there are gingerbread men and gingerbread houses too, though the cookies are the main focus. And chocolate, lots of purchased chocolate. Maybe you prefer fruit cakes, plum puddings and Yule logs? Whatever your preferred choice, if you cannot find it in a local store (or want to get all wrapped up in the baking process), make your own Christmas cookies and desserts.
Put up Christmas Decorations and the Christmas Tree
This might be the toughest part as, depending on where and how long you are staying, that just isn’t a possibility. You cannot put up a Christmas tree in your hotel room, for instance. But you can bring a few (lightweight) Christmas ornaments with you, wear your favourite Christmas jewellery and maybe even put up a few Christmas cards. There really is no limit to your imagination if you like decorating . It doesn’t matter that its only for a short time, Christmas never lasts long enough.
Count the Days to Christmas with your Advent Calendar
If you have never had a Christmas or Advent calendar, you really should. They come in all shapes and sizes and are packed with pretty pictures or goodies. It absolutely helps build excitement as each day brings you closer to the 24th! And really, if you just eat one small piece f chocolate from your calendar, that isn’t so bad, is it? No regrets!
Pack and Unwrap Presents
I don’t know about you but a surefire way to get into the Xmas spirit is by going good and spreading cheer. Getting and packing Christmas gifts falls into this category as well and you can take your sweet time doing it. It should bring you joy as well! Plus, this can be done no matter where you are. Spending Christmas abroad is also for finding last minute gifts and souvenirs that your loved ones don’t see coming.
How Do You Get into the Xmas Spirit when Celebrating Christmas Abroad?
Have you ever spent Christmas abroad? Was it in different weather than what you’re used to? Maybe it was super white – the snow or the sand. Did you get into the Xmas spirit easily or did you need a little help?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on how to feel festive easily.
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Ryan Biddulph says
All are smart tips here. I have spent the past 2 holiday seasons in New Jersey so in the middle of holiday cheer, cold weather and all trappings of Christmas. But prior holiday seasons were spent in spots like Chiang Mai, Sri Lanka and yep, a remote Costa Rican jungle. Colombo in Sri Lanka was cool; Catholic town, meaning lots of Christmas cheer. Chiang Mai is filled with Western ex-pats so we got the feel. But the jungles outside of Bribri were filled with sloths, monkeys, parrots, toucans, bullet ants and poison dart frogs who did not know the reason for the season, or the season LOL. Enlightening experience nonetheless.
Annemarie Strehl says
Hi Ryan, good to hear from you. Did you have a white Christmas in Jersey? I thought you were still in the tropics. And I know what you mean with dangerous animals not being bothered about the season. I was chased by dogs in Chiang Mai for Christmas.^^
Merry Christmas to you!