Long Distance Christmas: How to Celebrate Christmas Away From Home

Christmas in Your Heart: Wherever You Go, Christmas Goes With You

Missing Family on Christmas. Credit: altrendo images/Getty Images

Christmas is a time when you'd want to be with your family the most. Even if you find them annoying on other days, Christmas does not feel like Christmas when you are not surrounded by loved ones.

But not everyone is lucky to have the opportunity to go home for Christmas. Work may take you miles away from your loved ones. Foreign studies may require you to be away from home, even during holidays. But nothing’s worse than having to spend Christmas Eve at an airport, when flights are canceled during due to bad weather and poor flight conditions.


What do you do when you are stranded in a strange, distant place, away from family on Christmas night? Here’s my two cents’ worth: you have only two choices: one, feel miserable about your situation and wallow in self-pity; or two, make a lemonade with the lemons that life just offered you.

How to Make the Most of Christmas When You Are Away From Home

Celebrating Christmas away from home may not be all that bad. Sure, you will miss your usual homemade eggnog, or watching your kids opening their Christmas presents. You may be homesick for the smell of your grandmother’s special roast chicken. As the proverb goes: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Here are 6 easy-to-implement ideas on how to celebrate Christmas away from home. It only takes a positive attitude and an adventurous spirit to action any of these ideas. If you have the holiday cheer within you, you will find it easy to be merry at Christmas.

1) Christmas Is a Good Time to Make New Friends

What better than Christmas to shake hands, buy drinks, and spread the holiday mood? Christmas cheer is infectious, so use this occasion to know your new colleagues and neighbors. Learn about their culture, traditions, and if possible, share a meal with them.

Why waste a beautiful Christmas Eve by staying alone, when you can enjoy the company of new friends?

2) Christmas Is Also a Good Time to Catch Up with Old Friends

How long has it been since you connected with your classmates from high school? When you are away from the hustle and bustle of routine life, you have enough time in your hands to connect with old ties. Walk down memory lane, share tidbits about your life, and make Christmas come alive in the company of your childhood buddies. Share some Throwback Thursday pictures with quotes to add some sepia-toned magic.

3) Your Family Is Just a Video Call/Text/Phone Call Away

Missing your loved ones too much? Remember they are just a fingertip away. We are lucky to live in a digital age, where you can chat, share, or message anyone from your smartphone. True, you'll miss your daughter's warm hugs and kisses. But she would love to catch up with you over FaceTime or Skype. In most places around the world, you’d find good connectivity to reach home. Send out text messages, greetings, and messages of love to your dear ones. 

4) Visit Local Church and Enjoy Christmas in a New Place

When in Rome, do as Romans do. Christmas is celebrated in many parts of the world.

Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in Argentina? Or have you watched a Christmas parade in Peru? If you happen to be in an exotic locale in a far flung place, here is your opportunity to savor local Christmas delights, take in the beauty of Christmas, and soak in the Christmas festivity.

5) Celebrate Christmas With Others Away From Home

Like you, there would be many others who are in a distant land, away from their home on Christmas. They may feel the same despondency you feel, when you are unable to go back home for Christmas. Why not host a small Christmas party for all those who are missing home? The party could be as simple as a round of cheer and drinks. Or it could be an elaborate setting with fancy Christmas decorations, gifts and good food. Help others get around their misery and warmly welcome everyone into the fold.

Make this Christmas an occasion to remember with your new friends.

6) Share Christmas Quotes and Interesting Trivia to Make Christmas Special

Christmas is the time to share. Here are some heart-warming Christmas quotes that you might want to share with your new friends. Gift them a special blessing, a kind word or even a funny Christmas quote so that they remember you for years to come.

Phillips Brooks
Christmas is a day of joy and charity. May God make you rich in both.

Joel Osteen
When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

Henry David Thoreau
The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much.

Oren Arnold
Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

Irving Berlin
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

Grace Noll Crowell
Let us keep Christmas
Whatever else be lost among the years, 
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing; 
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, 
Let us hold close one day, remembering
It's poignant meaning for the hearts of men. 
Let us get back our childlike faith again.

Lucinda Franks
Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.

Kin Hubbard
Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. 

Bob Hope
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness.

Dave Barry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukka' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukka!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'

Andy Rooney
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.

Mother Teresa
It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you. Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.

P. J. O'Rourke
Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year.

Kin Hubbard
Nothing's as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas.

Bart Simpson, The Simpsons
Christmas is the one time of year when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ. 

Carol Nelson
Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.

Sir Walter Scott
Heap on the wood!-the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still.

Carolyn Wells
I love the Christmas-tide, and yet,
I notice this, each year I live;
I always like the gifts I get,
But how I love the gifts I give!

Eva K. Logue
A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.

Taylor Caldwell
I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.

Dale Evans Rogers
Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.

G. K. Chesterton
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?

Ann Schultz
Let us keep Christmas beautiful without a thought of greed, that it might live forevermore to fill our every need, that it shall not be just a day, but last a lifetime through, the miracle of Christmas time that brings God close to you.