By Jordan Sapir
As ironic as it may seem, expats are synonymous with retreating home for the holidays. Some fail to realise that although many expats are partnered with other expats, we’re not all in a mutually expatriate family. For those of us, myself included who are in relationships with Germans and other nationalities, inevitably means — staying in our home away from home for the holidays.
If you’re like me and have to share the holiday calendar with your partner, you may find it easier to embrace some of your host country’s traditions to better acclimate to being away from home for the holiday season. Even if you don’t per se share the same religious or traditional connotation of Christmas, it will make being in a foreign country fun, interesting and you’ll be able to teach the family about cultural differences and traditions.
There is happiness all around. Don’t be a scrooge.
Ask around about traditional German feasts. Go to a Christmas Market. Eat traditional fare. Ride an old steam train and visit ole St. Nikolas and his evil counterpart Krampus to see how your traditions differ. Going to a host family’s house for Christmas or New Year’s dinner? Bring a dish from your culture to share your traditions.
Embrace the subtle differences and spread holiday cheer. Make Plätzchen with the kids and send greeting cards to your neighbors. Just because you’re not in your native land, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice what Christmas and the holiday season means to you.