Christmas is indeed the best time of the year! With cakes, treats and gifts, it’s nothing less than a magical vibe in the air. Being away from home might make you feel a bit homesick during this time, but you can actually keep your mind off it by diving into the amazing Christmas celebrations of your new country. As an international student celebrating Christmas abroad for the first time, here are some tips and tricks to make the experience a lot more enjoyable and memorable.
- Know and understand about Christmas: Christmas is not just about a few days off work or school. Christmas, like any other festival, is an emotion. The emotion of, “God is with us!” To truly relate to the holiday season, we first need to relate to the festive season because this is what makes it special. So, don’t shy away and ask your friends what makes this festival so important to them.
- Go gift shopping: All Indian festivals involve the exchange of gifts to make our loved ones feel appreciated. Thus, you need to take a step forward and make your loved ones in your school or university feel happy. Step out of your house or dorm and go shopping for your friends. Share gifts and make them feel like you belong there and wish to connect. Trust us, connecting through gifts will get you invited to Christmas parties.
- Throw your own Christmas party: Remember when you were home, and invited all your friends over for a card party before Diwali? Show that festive spirit for Christmas too! As an international student celebrating Christmas for the first time, it might be slightly tough, but you can try and invite your friends to your place for a pre-Christmas party. Express how excited you are to get to know their traditions. Ask them about Christmas meals and cook them if you can. If not, ask them to help or just order. Let this be your peppy start to a new festival. Need some tips? Check this out to know how to pull it off.
- Explore the holiday merriment: Walking through the streets of Delhi during Diwali, or the streets of Amritsar during Lohri—does this ring a bell? Yes, it’s about the peppiness of the place and the decorations that sparkle in the eye. So, to feel all this, go out and explore the markets of our city. Let the cool winter breeze sink in with the bright lights and smell of freshly baked cookies. Let the happy Christmas vibe make you happy inside and out.
- Let’s do Secret Santa: Being an international student celebrating Christmas abroad can be slightly difficult on the pocket. Buying gifts for all your friends can be a little tricky and heavy on your pocket. However, this is where Secret Santa can be played. By doing this, everyone gets to choose one member of your group for whom they have to buy a gift. So at last, everyone gets a gift, and no one needs to worry about empty pockets.
- Community comes first: Being away from home can sometimes be hard. During the holiday season, one might feel like being a little calmer around people whom they can see smiling. In such cases, community service can be a very good way to spend the holidays. By doing this, you may get connected with the people around you and feel like doing something for the people in the community. Also, this can get you extra recognition on campus.
The holidays are about feeling happy, loved, and appreciated for who you are. However, being an international student celebrating Christmas abroad can make you feel like a stranger. So, to bridge that gap from being a stranger to becoming part of your new home, all it takes is some effort. Make an effort to know the people, to know their culture, and to share yours. Because above everything lies brotherhood, which makes us all one. So, make this Christmas not just a holiday but a chance to make the new country your home.