How to Survive Christmas as an Expat: Part 2

Tip 4: It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… Actually it isn’t. You have to make Christmas come to you. My suggestions are: buy a CD full of Christmas songs and make yourself listen to it when Christmas (internet) shopping or when doing any Christmas activities; put up the Christmas tree and all the trimmings (even if snowflakes in the heat just seem wrong); buy or make some Christmas food to pull out whenever you have guests (or if you want to be sure of putting on the obligatory Christmas weight); attend any Christmas related event that you can.

I can report that Santa has visited Brunei at least twice already, I have attended one Christmas party, and been out singing Christmas songs once. I have wrapped one Christmas present and consumed no Christmas calories (but I have just dropped a dress size so I have some incentive not to!) There’s still time though…

Tip 5: Customize. I am not the only person to be celebrating Christmas in the heat. The Aussies do it magnificently with a BBQ on Christmas day and all the decorations, despite the heat.

Christmas in Sydney
Christmas in Sydney

Brunei is a Muslim country but plenty of places give a nod to Christmas through decorations and Christmas menus.  I bought some lovely Asian tree decorations last year, which lend our tree a tropical feel.

Gecko tree ornaments
Gecko tree ornaments

There is no need to stay in a toasting hot kitchen all day in the name of tradition: do it your way and enjoy it!

(You can find Part 1 here if you missed it.)


5 thoughts on “How to Survive Christmas as an Expat: Part 2

  1. Great set of articles. I have not lived overseas during Christmas, but I do anticipate doing so in the next few years. This is great advice. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m glad you found it useful. We went back to the UK for the first few years we were here, but Christmas is a terrible time to travel and I prefer to visit in the summer instead now. There’s no madness at the shops here at least!

  2. So I’m a pom doing the Aussie Christmas – this will be my ninth Christmas in the heat and I still am in denial that it’s actually happening; it’s like I’m watching it on a screen. Prawn on the barbie just isn’t the same! However, there is definitely the advantage of NOT putting any Christmas calories on!! 🙂

    1. I think there’s something to be said for the Christmas day bbq, but then I love barbies! When we visited my relatives in Aus a few years ago, they ate the traditional roast on Christmas Eve and then did the bbq on Christmas day which in my mind was heaven.

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