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How to celebrate Christmas in a place where no one else does?

(12 Posts)
Corsu Tue 16-Dec-14 14:50:13

I'm currently living abroad, in a country where Christmas is nothing but a shopping holiday. We can't get turkey, and we haven't got an oven to cook most of the normal things in. We've got a fake Christmas tree and lots of candles to try and set the mood. What I'm really asking is for any ideas to celebrate Christmas in as homely way as possible. For all of my friends and I, it's our first Christmas away from home, let alone the UK!

So far, we have decided on buying a hot duck from a local shop, and that we can make egg nog in the morning!

None of us are particularly creative cooks, although we have been able to look after ourselves for the most part, this year! Can anyone suggest any cooking ideas that we can do in the microwave or on the stove top. Also, any more ideas on how to make the apartment seem more festive? I can see the day being very lonely away from home. There's a big time difference which will mean I won't be able to speak to my family until around 3:30-4:00 PM my time, which will mean I have lots of time to miss them! So I'm really clinging to the idea of being able to distract myself and really enjoy the day before that.

Thanks in advance. Mums really do always have the best advice.

TheFantasticMrsFox Tue 16-Dec-14 15:07:12

It depends where you are really as that will have some bearing on what's available to you <nosy>
Mulled wine would be fairly easy, if no red wine then use whatever juice you can find.
Nuts and dates if available.
Paper chains, perhaps try and fashion a wreath out of local greenery. Add feathers, bright ribbons etc.
Christmas music, assuming you have internet access at home?
Homemade crackers- no snap but cardboard tubes and tissue paper will do.
NORAD Santa tracker (again assuming you have internet access and that sort of thing floats your boat. It's probably my 68yo DM's favourite part of Christmas now fgrin)

Corsu Tue 16-Dec-14 15:15:39

Thanks for answering! I don't want to be really obvious where I am, but it's a big city in east Asia, sadly nowhere near as globalised as Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai etc so sourcing crackers has proven impossible, even online.
I do have internet, and have been listening to the Downton Abbey christmas album on repeat!
The wreath is a great idea, I will go to the park tomorrow and get some greenery. Making crackers would also be a great idea, but even the toilet paper here doesn't have a cardboard tube in the middle sad.

LittleMissSparklyGreenTinsel Tue 16-Dec-14 15:23:40

Could you get fortune cookies instead of crackers?

Jenijena Tue 16-Dec-14 15:25:53

Can you buy dried fruit? Home made mince meat is fairly straightforward if raisins/sultanas are available.

Corsu Tue 16-Dec-14 15:30:25

Jenijena I can buy raisins and lots and lots of different dried fruits, but what could I do if I did make mince meat? I don't think there's any way of making mince pies because I don't have an oven, but is there anything else that it is used for?

Jenijena Tue 16-Dec-14 18:57:46

If you google 'Mary berry mincemeat ice cream' that would be Christmassy but different/easy to do without an oven. Make mincemeat by stirring dried fruits, sugar, orange juice/rind together (I think I use a dan lepard recipe on the guardian).

mamapain Tue 16-Dec-14 19:20:13

If sausages or bacon are available you could definitely do pigs in blankets by frying them. Also it would be possible to fry stuffing balls. You can also cook glazed carrots on the stove and a version of roast potatoes.

Christmas puddings do not need an oven. If you have dried fruit you can easily make a christmas pudding or if that does appeal a steamed pudding such as syrup/chocolate/jam.

I'd definitely go with paper chains but also some little lights. If you do find greenery or berries put that on shelves. I don't imagine you will have that many cards but you could string up some christmassy pictures, tie bows around and door handles and crack out the christmas movies.

Also think about what you will do on the day, can you create a festive breakfast, maybe with some bucks fizz and play some games?

bigbluestars Tue 16-Dec-14 20:09:26

I lived in SE ASia for a while and we didn't really celebrate christmas. We found a hotel that was serving pit roasted suckling pig and washed it down with lots of lager, No cards, gifts or tree.

Corsu Wed 17-Dec-14 01:32:16

Thanks everyone, these are great ideas! I'm going to write a list of everything that's possible and do the shopping today. It's my first Christmas away from home - who knew it was this much hassle!

NewLeafExpat Wed 17-Dec-14 04:00:39

i live in se Asia its definitely not a Christmas country and yes to just a shopping holiday!

we actually dont celebrate Xmas here, it just feels weird. last Xmas my dh was working and I spent the day alone, very unxmassy.

didn't stop me getting dressed up and cracking open a bottle of red with music, candles and Skype to family! on boxing day (not a holiday here) we went for a hotel buffet of turkey and trimmings just to get our food fix.

my advice would be NOT to copy your old traditional Christmases it just doesn't work. a previous year we went to the pool with friends and had a BBQ and lots of beer it was great.

make new traditions and go with the flow. I think u just have to accept it will be different and not like any previous Christmases.

someones suggestion of mince pie ice cream is fab idea and potentially something u will carry with u the rest of your life when you do go back to uk,.... remember that Xmas in Asia where we.......

bigbluestars Wed 17-Dec-14 06:51:13

I remember christmas in Indonesia, again no gifts, instead we got up before dawn to board a boat to go dolphin watching. The dolphins were out in great numbers swimming with the fishing boats for any spare fish.

Watching dolphins as the sun rose on christmas morning- I really didn't need a tree or brussel sprouts.
( As much as I love christmas in the UK)

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