Skip Navigation

Being away from home at Christmas

Travel Forums General Talk Being away from home at Christmas

1. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

Are you away from home and/or travelling for Christmas, or have you in the past? How does it feel and how is it different to how you would celebrate it at home? I’m from the UK but am in New Zealand at the moment, and although it’s my 3rd Christmas in the Southern hemisphere, I still can’t get used to it being warm and it just doesn’t feel Christmassy! In the UK I think it’s a lot more commercialised than here and just seems like a bigger deal. I think as a result of it not feeling like Christmas I’m not missing my family and friends much more at this time of year than I would normally.

2. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 7y

I'm from the UK and currently living in Australia, have been for the last 18 months. I find Christmas odd in the summer too, though my wife would tell me that she found it odd in the winter when we lived in the UK!

I think Christmas isn't played up as much here as in the UK just like you mentioned for NZ, however on the other hand year-round I think Australia is far more materialistic/commercialised than the UK which is something I find difficult as I'm not that materialistic.

I think I prefer Christmas in the UK as it feels more like a special time of year, rather than what feels more like just another day of the year here except slightly more family focussed, oh and not having summer holiday and Christmas holiday lumped into one - having them spread out is good in my opinion!

Oh well, over the next few months my wife & I will be deciding which country we want to be based in long-term so we'll wait and see what kind of Christmas we'll have in future years! With a baby that arrived earlier this year we want to decide soon!

3. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 7y

since 18 years I'm home for Christmas.My home is on a small Caribbean Island,so I'm used to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a warm/hot climate.To hear the christmas songs while you sit in the sun at the beach or in your garden is still strange,remembers you that the year is over again.........
while living in Germany I was for Christmas and New Year skiing in Austria or Switzerland,there where always some friends with children and we had rented a cabin what was very nice.
Later when sailing I was sitting in the cockpit of the boat looking at the beautyful decorated houses in Funchal/Madera.
by the Atlantic crossing we enjoyed the smoked ham I had for christmas in Dakkar/Senegal.
so I had also spend this days in Venezuela with family and on small Islands with some fisherman(lobster satt)in NZ at my brothers house,with sailors at the San Blas Islands/Panama.
now I have to be home (business)and it is always nice to be having Cheese fondue together with friends.

4. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 7y

I used to be one of the people who totally dislike christmas. The whole -we have to be a happy family and all get along for a few days- was always getting on my nerves, although I do love my family a lot.
Therefore, I always prefered to spend christmas away from home or I happened to live somewhere else anyway. Twice, I spent christmas in Australia which was great fun, but nothing compared to what it is like in Germany. More like a big party on the beach ;).
Another year, I was in Nicaragua which was a really interesting experience, because people are super religious there and they have christmas parades/fireworks/festivities going on for days.
All in all, I think I like the fact that I have experienced christmas elsewhere, because for some reason there was always a special spirit about it, not matter where I was.
As for this year, I'm actually honestly looking forward to a typical German christmas with my parents, brothers, boyfriend and other family. Fingers crossed, we will hopefully get some snow :).

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

I spent 1 Christmas in New Zealand with my sister, and it was odd seeing all those fake cotton snow displays while walking around in shorts.

We spent last Christmas in Belfast, which was dark and damp and utter mahem when 2 cms of snow fell (there are 30 cms on the ground here now with about 40 set to come by Monday--THAT'S snow!). It was really wonderful, though. One of the nicest, most relaxing trips I've ever taken.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 19, 2008, at 1:50 PM by tway ]

6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

I'm in Uruguay right now. Hot for Christmas. I have noticed this about Christmas in many parts of the world....They have bought into the American ideal of it. People are putting up pine trees and spraying them with fake snow here, even though they have never known a Christmas this way. Santa Claus in a fur suit. (Fucking Coca Cola did that) Fake icicles.
It's ridiculous.

I couldn't give a flying banana split about Christmas and am hiding out until it is over. This is as good a place as any, and is better than some because there'll be no onebugging me about not being in the spirit of the fake birthday.

Yep. I'm Scrooging. Live with it.
D

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

I'm afraid I'm on the same page as Derek... I'd (we'd) rather be hiding out in some "tropical paradise" (or even our own house - at least it's tropically decorated) for the holidays but that ain't gonna be happening. Christmas was wonderful until my mom died and then it lost all of it's luster. It was her favorite holiday and she made it special even though I'd "lost my religion" a few years earlier. My dad and I would "escape" to the Caribbean and that became my Christmas - lots of diving and drinks on the beach - gotta love it. Once he passed, I had to reacquaint myself with Beerman's family holidays and it worked for several years. Now, it's just come down to gathering together to do the ritual gift thing, spend some "not-so-quality-time" together and hoping to get home as soon as possible. That's not what Christmas is suppose to be about... As Linus says in A Charlie Brown Christmas:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'". That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Though neither of us is conventionally religious, we do believe in faith and all of us has their own definition. I do miss certain traditions and the people who created them for me. Other than that - I don't care. At this age, I would rather create my own holiday traditions and have those I care the most about around me. That isn't necessarily always family and those I would invite are busy with their own holiday festivities - except Beerman, of course. I'm thinking rum punch on a beautiful beach with those I love - period. (Yup, caught me in a "Bah Humbug" moment which will end somewhere around 6:00 pm Christmas Day.) ;)