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Enjoying Christmas overseas

Christmas is a time when many expatriates feel the strain of being away from home, but there are a number of ways to ensure that you enjoy it and focus on the positives.

No matter how strong the temptation might be to forego Christmas because you are abroad, it is a good idea to mark it in some way.

Getting together with fellow expats who will also be missing friends and family is a good way of combating homesickness, even if they do not come from the same country as you.

Gatherings where everyone brings a tradition from their own land make for really special occasions and allow you to experience festive treats from all over the world.

This is a great way to embrace the benefits of being an expat during the Christmas period, instead of focusing on the downsides.

Find out how Christmas is celebrated in your new culture and incorporate elements into your festivities.

For those who really crave a British Christmas, there are ways to achieve this.

In this day and age of the internet it is easy to order presents and decorations from the UK as many of the larger chains, such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, deliver to countries all over the world.

Be selective and only order items that you cannot get locally, but a few carefully chosen stocking, wreaths or baubles will really lift the mood.

Look at what is available in your adopted land and turn non-Christmas products into substitutes for traditional necessities.

This is a great way to be creative and have celebrations with a homemade vibe to them – get the kids involved to make advent calendars, decorations and presents too.

Having made the preparations, remember what is important about the festive season and invite people to come together and celebrate, especially those who would be on their own.

Organise a time to Skype family back in the UK, perhaps right after Christmas dinner when everyone is wearing their paper hat. This will help you feel closer and share in the excitement of the day.

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