Have An Untraditional Celebration & Chase Away Scrooge

It can be a challenge to enjoy the winter holidays while traveling and away from your loved ones— dare I say especially if you are in a beachy paradise setting (but I’m not complaining!). Here are some ideas to find your holiday cheer and my experience:

Ask yourself what is import to you about the holidays: where does your holiday sparkle come from?

Is it the food, the people, the decorations? Do you need to have a tree? Is there a certain type of cookie you bake with your mother every year? These may seem like silly questions because you’re of course not going to fly home to bake cookies with your mother– instead, think about mixing a batch up over Skype.

[st_box title=”Enliven Your Holiday!!” type=”success”]Try some of these…




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  • If you are abroad, gather your expat friends for a dinner party or cookout.
  • Watch festive movies.
  • Skype or FaceTime with loved ones.
  • Volunteer.
  • Decorate with local holiday decorations.
  • Reinvent “traditional” recipes– include local flavors.
  • Send out holiday cards. (This should be done before the holidays for a timely delivery)
  • Create NEW traditions!
  • Participate in a local town celebration.


As Christmas and New Year’s careened towards me, I wondered: where did I hide my festive cheer?

The holidays are very important to me — the socializing, the decorating… and the FOOOOOD! Being abroad, away from my family and snow, I had a hard time thinking “Christmas”… I was still in “beach bum” mode. It hit me hard when December 1st rolled over the calendar; normally I’d pulling out the holiday decorations on Thanksgiving and badly humming carols.

With renewed excitement, I hopped on our scooter and popped over to the local stationery/craft store, where I found some holiday cheer in dusty boxes. I came home with such great goodies!! The effect is less “New England Christmas”… more “Santa goes to Mardi Gras”.

I personalized a couple stockings and Santa hats with glitter and mixed up some eggnog. There were colored lights dangling over the doorway and sparkle tassels around the banister. The important thing is that I had jump-started my cheer: Scrooge had been shown the door, and the elves were in their craft corner with glue, glitter and rum.

Christmas in Paradise!

On Christmas Eve I Skyped with my family.

I was passed around between each family member and was able to share special words with each. It was certainly not the same, but I felt so fortunate to be able to still share that with them while on the other side of the world.

I didn’t recreate my traditional holiday experience, but created a whole new one with wonderfully special memories that will be unique to our time in Thailand! Although I do think the “Santa goes to Mardi Gras” motif will be a keeper for future years.

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