Our first Christmas away from family was hard on me. I was 8.95 months pregnant with my daughter. No one came to visit us that year, and I wasn’t exactly in a position to travel. I was so depressed that we wouldn’t be near family for the Holidays. I think the hardest part was knowing of all the plans that went in to the yearly family get-together, and feeling really left out.
Since then, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with our situation and have made sure that my family never feels like we are missing out during the Holiday season.
Keep the Family Traditions
We have started having our own family party. There are only four of us as opposed to the 20+ people at my parent’s house, but we have fun all the same! We do all the same things that we would do at the family party. We play games, eat the traditional festive foods, have a gift exchange, and make it a special time. Of course we would love to be able to go to the family Christmas party every year, but there’s no reason to miss out on the family traditions simply because we live far away. My kids love and look forward to the family Christmas party, regardless of if it’s at our house, or at Grandpa’s house.
Create New Traditions of your Own
The most fun part of Christmas is the traditions. To make the Holidays at home feel more special, try introducing a new tradition for the years when you stay home. Go caroling, go to the movies, visit a Christmas tree lights park, go sledding. Find something fun that everyone can do together that will keep your mind off of missing out, and instead give you something to really look forward to! I have found that when we keep ourselves busy doing fun things, we don’t feel so alone.
Make sure you send Christmas cards to your friends and family. Chances are, they’ll send one back. Don’t underestimate the meaning of Holiday cards! Take the time to personalize them and include everyone in sending them. Christmas cards have connected and re-connected us to so many friends and family. They help us feel remembered, and have kept us up to date on all the goings-on of the extended family!
I want to hear from you! How do you cope with being away from family during the Holidays?