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Spending christmas abroad - parents disapointed

Travel Forums Off Topic Spending christmas abroad - parents disapointed

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1. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I actually have brilliant news as I have spontanously bought a ticket (a real bargain ) to fly to Costa Rica and visit a very good friend over Christmas and New Years. I was really thrilled, because I probably wouldn't have seen her for more than 2 years.
I have told my Mum now and she seemed very disapointed, because she expected me to be home at christmas as I'll be living abroad from the end of August until April 2007. I have mixed feelings now and don't know whether to cancel the trip or not. My parents are usually always supporting my travel plans and they know that I've never been into celebrating christmas with the family and therefore haven't spent christmas with them in the past years. Don't get me wrong, I love them very much, but just don't like the festive season and am wondering if my parents just need to cool down?

Has anybody had a similar experience or any advice would be much appreciated?



2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I can empathise a little Steff...I was due to go away in October this year, and my Mum kept welling up at the thought that I wouldnt be with them for Christmas. She didnt try to influence me to changes my plans or anything, but as it turned out I had to push them back until the New Year, so now I will be at home for the holidays.

I think Christmas doesnt make as much sense to parnets when they cant spend it with their children, and they find it a lonely time otherwise. I'm sure your parents were just really looking forward to this one with you because, as you said, you'll be studying away next year. But I bet they wouldnt want you to cancel your there any way you could reschedule the dates for a week earlier or something, so that you could make it home for Christmas?

In my experience, even when my parents would rather I didnt do something, they usually get over their disappointment or disapproval very quickly once they see that I'm happy. I think, at the end of the day, thats all parents really wish for - to see their children happy. ;)

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Well, I live about as far away from my parents as possible (not quite the exact antipole of Oslo :) ), so they are pretty used to it by now. Last year though we spent Christmas down in Australia and my wife had the same problem. She's spent Christmas with her family her whole life (it's a typical time in Norway to get out of the cities, go skiing and stay in their winter cabins), so it was a little strange for her to be in the sun in Australia having a BBQ on Christmas day. Her mom was actually pretty ok about it, but her brother hated it! I've thrown up some thoughts of spending Christmas overseas again this year but I don't think it'll fly... with her family :)

In general, I think the thought of it is much worse than the actual fact. As long as your parents know in advance, it gives them time to warm up to the idea and get used to it. Once the tickets were booked her mom even started talking about going with us overseas some year!!!

I spent Christmas and NY in Costa Rica in 2002/2003 and it was absolutely fantastic. Would definitely recommend it Steff!

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Steff,

One Christmas I visited my sister, who was living in NZ, and that left my parents completely children-ess during the holidays for the first time ever. I think they were disappointed (they said the holidays that year were "dull"), but they were happy that my sister and I were together. They also knew that both their children weren't just sitting at home dreaming about what they'd like to do.

It affected my grandparents more, though, so what the family did was have a mini Christmas at Epiphany (January 6th, I believe), after I'd got home. They left the (by then dusty) tree up and everyone kept some presents from the holidays and it was quite nice. Plus it gave us all something to look forward to.

Maybe that could be an option for you?


5. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I have had the same as many of the stories people have explained. My mom always wants my sisters and me to be around for Christmas. I am not a fan of christmas so I really could not care less...

I think the reason that I became jaded about christmas is because my parents are seperated. Both wanting to have the children around for christmas... completly annoying if you ask me. So now I don't spend it with either if at all possible. They are used to it now though.

I think you should go on your trip and not to worry about it. Tway's idea about having a christmas after works really well. We had a christmas and thanksgiving all at once one year because everyone was leaving to different places...

6. Posted by Pati (Full Member 120 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I manage this situation in different way. When my journey plans coincide with Christmas time I decide not to tell anybody about it until the day before my my parents don't have time to react and to persuade me to change my plans

7. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Steff

Take the trip, let your parents worry. That's what parents do. Then they get over it. The best thing you can do for them is to surprise them after the holidays with something special just for them....make dinner, get them theatre tix, reserve a dinner cruise....something to show them that you still think of them even though you won't be with them at Christmas. It's kind of a "I'm all grown up now,, you and Dad enjoy this gift and know that I love you."

I was gone one Christmas....but it was Isa's fault. Her Dad took us to Jamaica. My Mom was somewhat heartbroken, but she realized that she couldn't be in control all the time. She was always the "planner"...made all the holiday arrangements, etc. It was hard for her to have things "not" in her control, but she got over it.....I think.

Do it...they'll get over it.

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Quoting beerman

I was gone one Christmas....but it was Isa's fault. Her Dad took us to Jamaica. My Mom was somewhat heartbroken, but she realized that she couldn't be in control all the time. She was always the "planner"...made all the holiday arrangements, etc. It was hard for her to have things "not" in her control, but she got over it.....I think.

Yeah, she got over it... Right... ;) Does that mean I can plan that trip so we're lying on a beach somewhere come Christmas Day??? I promise to let Santa know where we are... We can decorate the palm trees with pretty colored lights...

Steff - just go!! You have the ticket and your parent have you - just not on their timetable. Find them something nice during your trip and it can be a special Christmas gift you just had to pick up in person. They will get over it. Hopefully your mother isn't the type to pout for a long time (like someone else's mom like to do.. ;) ). Enjoy yourself!!

9. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Just do it Steff Its a funny thing Christmas, when I was living overseas I hated that I wasn't home for it, but now that I live in NZ again I hate going & make all sorts of excuses not too Doesn't help that we had the family christmas from absolute HELL a few years back though

10. Posted by AlexT (Respected Member 245 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Steff,
I can empathise with you.. I have spent 2 Christmas's recently away and it while my folks have said otherwise, it was pretty clear that they were disappointed that I wasnt around. I kind of try to plan my travels around Christmas so that I can spend it with family because I find myself that it is quite lonely to spend Chissie away. In fact, my parents have come up with a new initiative to make sure that the family stays together at this time by going on a trip together (finances permitting), even if only for a week. This has been a pretty effective means of keeping the kids in order, although it is usually my dad which ends up missing Christmas lately...

But don't worry, if you have already bought your ticket maybe you should just make the most of the time you have left before you head to Costa Rica... and don't forget to call home when you are there..