Christmas season has become synonymous with quality time with family, and many people look forward to the time away from their daily schedules to visit and create memories with their kinfolk that they might not see as often as they wish. Oftentimes, the Christmas season is the only time when some have the opportunity to see their extended families, but for those who do not have their families around them, it could also be the season for nostalgia, homesickness, and in some seasons, depression.

A lot of students in foreign countries or cities often live on frugal budgets, and sometimes might consider traveling home for the holidays an indulgence they cannot afford. In some cases, it might even be as a result of some pending coursework (research and fieldwork) that makes it unlikely for them to travel home for the holidays. If you are stuck in a foreign place or you are likely to be away from your family and loved ones during this Christmas season, here are some tips on how to have an enjoyable holiday by yourself.

Spend time shopping

You could spend time shopping for thoughtful and personalized gift items for the members of your family. In truth, you might not be at home, but you can show your love from any destination by sending your family gifts if you can afford it. You can also explore other ideas for a family Christmas gift that would encompass all the members of your family as well as your friends, rather than sending individual gifts to them. You can read online stores reviews to know which of the online stores that have well-grounded personnel attendants that can help you with gift ideas for individuals or the whole family. The most important thing is that you send a reminder that they are in your heart during this season.

Video-call during the festivities

You can prepare your meals, and try to time it to the time your family’s meals will be held. With the help of technology, you can be a part of all the gossip and chatter, and even fine dining even when you are thousands of miles away. Just plan with one or two members of your family to help secure the connection and place the phone/laptop strategically, and voila! You are home for the holidays.

Hang out with your friends

Adulthood means branching out on your own, building your hive, stating your traditions, and charting your course. If you have several friends in a similar predicament with you (that is, unable or unwilling to go home for the Christmas holidays), you could travel, sightsee, shop, or have a party, all depending on you. If you are traveling, ensure you book ahead to avoid disappointments, as Christmas is one of the most booked seasons of the year. This means that you have to solidify your travel plans ahead of the rush.


If you won’t be working on Christmas day, then you should consider volunteering your time and services to charities, orphanages, hospitals, soup kitchens, etc. There is nothing as humbling or fulfilling as seeing the smile/ look of gratitude or relief on the face of someone else who would otherwise have been left out of all the festivities. There is a bonus that you could add the volunteering activity to your resume, and you never know where that will come in handy. You might also discover you make an amazing Santa or elf.

If you are a homebody, then you can stock up ahead of time; movies, food, everything you might need to have quality time alone should be purchased ahead of time.

Again, depending on where you are, look for free public events that you can explore. Carnivals, Christmas markets, fairs, carols and concerts, parades and walks happen in different countries and cities of the world, and you might find yourself dancing the day away, having a blast, and meeting new friends. You can check out churches, universities, and malls if you need ideas about which events are available, and how to get there.

In sum, whether with family or away from them, the season is meant to spread Christmas cheer and joy. Even those whose religions or dispositions do not favor Christmas still get caught up at the end of the year frenzy, so there will be a lot of energy and activities around the period. Do not wait around for anyone to make your holidays fulfilling – seize the day and have yourself a fantastic Christmas!