This is my favorite time of year. I actually started the Christmas music weeks ago in an effort to prolong a very short holiday season. Between work and a rigorous school program, however, I haven’t really been able to sink into the festivities. For a die-hard holiday fan, this is a bit of a bummer! But, then I think of all the expats abroad who may not have a chance to celebrate with their loved ones and I realize how lucky I am to be close enough to family to enjoy the day. Or even in a country that supports holiday traditions for a variety of beliefs and customs.
Kayla, a friend of mine, is currently an expat living in Thailand. When she moved there in October, she was excited about the opportunity, but also a little bummed about missing her favorite American holidays, including the upcoming Thanksgiving. The question comes around here every year, how will the expats celebrate the holidays abroad?
It’s hard to believe that July 4th is right around the corner. We are pretty excited about it here at XONEX Relocation. We tend to be a patriotic bunch, which makes it all the more fun.
But, as I start to make my own plans for next week, I can’t help but think about all of the families who are on international assignments right now. Wholly-American holidays such as July 4th, or Thanksgiving, can be difficult to celebrate in foreign countries – and that can make expatriates feel disconnected and homesick. As such, we do get ask about how to celebrate July 4th abroad, so I thought I’d share some common questions and answers:
Driving home from work this evening, it hit me. The holidays are here. Lights are strung up on the storefronts and the radio was playing the latest version of “Home for the Holidays.” Surely, this is one of my favorite times of year. I love being surrounded by friends and family and, as I pulled into my driveway, I found myself more excited than usual to see my boys.
Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday in the history of holidays. Anything that involves food, friends and wine is up my alley, but there is definitely something special about this day – and it’s not just my Mom’s sausage stuffing (although I’m sure people could write songs about it). Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on this great country and give back to the community, while also spending much needed quality time with loved ones. It just doesn’t get better than that for me.