Expats! Tell me your Christmas overseas plans

(12 Posts)
Napdamnyou Tue 06-Dec-11 14:08:56

I am doing first Christmas as an expat. Visitors will come before and after Christmas, but it will be just me, DH and one year old son during the festive slot. Thinking of going out to posh hotel for brunch and that's about it as far as planning goes so far... Live on tropical island. Any hints, tips, stories?

OP’s posts: |
RuthChan Tue 06-Dec-11 18:34:12

Christmas around the world is rarely the same as Christmas in the UK, especially if you live somewhere where Christmas is not celebrated by the locals.
I have found it best to adapt my own traditions to my local surroundings. Make it similar to your British Christmas in those ways you can, but don't worry that it will be different.
Enjoy it for the relaxed family time that it is.

NatashaBee Tue 06-Dec-11 18:40:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sunnydelight Wed 07-Dec-11 05:41:14

In the absence of my own parents coming to visit (one dead, one too elderly/ill to travel and MIL over my dead body) I'm kind of "borrowing" someone else's! My best friend here is British and her mum and step dad are coming for Christmas (she has a partner and kids too) so everyone is coming here for Christmas Day. They will bring the (Aussie traditional) seafood platter as an entree, then I will do the whole turkey/ham thing, finishing with Christmas pudding ice cream and bouche de Noel as a nod to half French DH, because hopefully it will be too hot for the real thing!

Tbh when younger and with fewer kids a nice chilled Christmas with "my own family" would have been a real treat, so enjoy a yummy lunch in beautiful surroundings that you don't have to shop/cook/clear up for. It sounds like you have the best of both worlds, though it can be hard to appreciate at the time if you're yearning for "the real thing".

campocaro Wed 07-Dec-11 06:25:16

We go to our 'adopted' Spanish family on Christmas eve. Despite invites to various ex pat parties on the day we have developed some new Christmas rituals to suit the climate and have a wonderfully selfish time with our favourite foods (no turkey or Xmas pud), ending the day with Dr Who ...

latermater Wed 07-Dec-11 14:14:35

You can still get carols from Kings College - I use the Tune-in Radio app for all my UK radio requirements. It will be 10pm and not 3pm to listen live on Christmas eve here, but it will still deliver that "Christmas is finally here" feeling I hope (first time Christmas ex pat here).

NatashaBee Wed 07-Dec-11 17:25:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.


madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Dec-11 15:52:23

i've got kings on cd. that probably makes me waaaay behind in techno terms, but it works fine whilst i bake the mince pies. grin

it would be 8am here for the real deal. i think we did put it on one year, but tbh i'm more concerned about tea at that point than getting into the christmas spirit!

we have mil,fil and sil coming. mil and fil are staying for the whole of jan, but are renting their own apartment. <wink> they will bring culinary reinforcements.

NatPartridge Thu 08-Dec-11 17:29:44

I was an expat in West Africa for some years and couldn't have had better Christmases. Visitors from England would bring everything down from the pigs in blankets, sausage meat for sausage rolls to brussel sprouts. Plus you have staff to give you a helping hand (and of course Delia on your shelf doesn't change wherever in the world you are!). I found people actually made more of an effort in terms of dress code (black tie and dresses usually) and instead of crap TV you had drinks by the pool, fireworks, singing etc! There was always lots of great things on around Christmas time at the British High Commission; carols, fetes, pantomines etc., and the World Service means you really don't have to be without the King's College carols. My advice, therefore, is to enjoy it! The more you make of it (a small intimate Christmas and going out for brunch with your husband and son sounds blissful) the better it will be! And if you are having relatives to stay, depending on regulations at customs, you can usually get whatever you need brought out! And we are a pretty globalised nation right now (I realise this might not be the case for you if you are living on a tropical Island, although if you have computer access to be on Mumsnet it can hardly be that cut-off!) so you will often find what you need is being imported anyway. I wish you a very Merry Christmas whatever happens! smile

NoGoodGirlo Thu 08-Dec-11 20:42:03

We are going back to the UK for Christmas. Last year we had to cancel because of Heathrow closing due to the snow so I am trying not to get too excited. We have lived in the USA for many years but I think that the biggest surprise to me our first Christmas here was how quickly it was over. People finish work on Christmas eve and are back at work on Boxing Day. Movie theaters stay open, so do may restaurants as so many people do not celebrate. It was such a let down. What is fabulous though are the decorations. They are amazing.

Indaba Sun 11-Dec-11 22:47:34

hotels can be quite lonely when its just you and all the other people at hotel have all their family around them
would suggest making arrangements with anyone you can that you vaguely know just for a coffee or glass of wine etc., even if its just the gardener grin

what i have learnt is christmas in southern hemisphere is so different....its their "summer" so thus the main holiday period....present giving etc less important as most people are travelling, on the beach etc.

in northern hemisphere its cold, not the main holiday season so there is more emphasis on presents/commercialism as there is no other focus.

Pantofino Sun 11-Dec-11 22:51:15

Definitely go out for lunch. There is definitly not the same ambience about Xmas when you live abroad.

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