Celebrating Christmas Abroad

Dear Reader,

In the spirit of this Christmas season, I would love to share this story with you. This post will be more like story time than they usually are. Christmas is a special time of year and most people want to celebrate it with their family and loved ones. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, but that does not mean it can not be a great memory.

About two years ago, I spend Christmas in China. Since my whole class wanted to celebrate it in a special way and replace the family with friends this one year. So we decided to celebrate together in a special way. On the evening of the 24th we went for a nice dinner in town and on the 27th we did the gift exchange for our secret santa. Enjoy reading about our experience.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinners everywhere have to booked super in advance. We booked in October to make sure we would have space since there were fourteen of us. We booked the later time slot to be able to stay as long as we wanted to. Our restaurant of choice was Mr. & Mrs. Bund, one of the nice restaurants along the river. It was a gorgeous decoration and the atmosphere was lovely. The price was a little too high for the food we received and we ended up paying extra for water, which we were not expecting. However, the experience was lovely spending it with the whole class. Since we were a tiny class, we were almost like a family so spending Christmas together was special. Being all together on such a day created special memories and the atmosphere of Christmas.

Secret Santa

The second thing we did was play Secret Santa. Many of us connected Christmas with presents from people we care about, therefore this was a great way to simulate that. We picked the names somewhere in November and after that, you were searching for a gift. We decided on a price limit to make it fair and not to make people go into debt trying to get gifts. I got my friend a Guidebook to a city she was planning to visit soon and handmade vouchers where I would cook her a meal the next semester. We made it into an evening to celebrate having spent almost a year together and were becoming great friends.

For me, spending Christmas apart from my family was not such a tragedy, because I had a substitute family that made up for everything I could have been missing. So know that just because you might not be with your family on this special holiday, you can still have a wonderful day if you have great friends who are almost your family.

Have you spent Christmas away from your family and loved ones before? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below or share them with me on social media.

Kisses,

Juli

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