Having spent the last three Christmases away from home I can say from personal experience that homesickness at this time of year really hits you hard.
If, like me, you’re a British expat in Oz, celebrating Christmas in the summer season can really mess with your brain. Your social feeds are full of people back home snuggly down to watch cheesy movie marathons in giant novelty onesies and meanwhile in Oz everyone’s talking about the perfect one-piece cozzie.
The distance from home feels even greater when you see pictures from family gatherings in which you are noticeably absent and, while it’s fun to embrace the customs of the country you find yourself in, you can’t help but compare it to how you usually do things back home.
So, for any Brits about to spend a Christmas overseas I’ve compiled some of my tried-and-tested ways of bringing a bit of British festive cheer to the holiday season.
How To Combat Homesickness At Christmas If You’re A Brit Abroad
Step 1: Watch Love Actually and The Holiday on repeat. (Thank you Netflix). Ideally while wrapping presents and sipping prosecco. (One day I’ll learn how to make mulled wine.)
Step 2: Download or stream classic Christmas TV specials such as the Vicar of Dibley (love the one where she has 8 Xmas dinners in a row) and Only Falls & Horses. (It’s not Christmas unless you’re laughing at Del Boy falling at the bar, right?)
Step 3: Pump up the air con and crack out the Christmas jumpers. (Or buy a silly santa t-shirt in Kmart if the temperature is too tropical.)
Step 4: Stock up on board games and rope your friends into a competitive game of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit.
Step 5: Create a blended Christmas dinner by incorporating British classics with local specialties. For us, that means a roast turkey with stuffing, pumpkin instead of parsnip, potatoes roasted on the barbie and lashings of Bisto gravy. We have a hot meal here in Oz regardless of the weather and just eat it al fresco on the balcony if things get too warm in the kitchen. I also make a trifle for dessert as it’s one of my favourites from back home that actually suits the hot weather.
Top tip: Buy all the British Christmas dinner essentials in a Brit Kit from the British Corner Shop for just £14.99!
Step 6: Crack out the Quality Street for post-meal grazing. (You can order these from the British Corner Shop too!)
Step 7: Set up a Skype date with the family for Christmas evening in Oz/morning in the UK and gather around the screen for a group catch up. This can get rather entertaining if those of you overseas have already enjoyed a cheeky tipple or two.
Step 8: Embrace the Aussie holidays. While I love a cold Christmas, I won’t pretend that I don’t enjoy the chance to hit the beach as soon as the festivities are over. Boxing Day sales in Oz are as big as back home so after I’ve hit the shops it’s time to enjoy the summer holidays with the rest of my Aussie friends and family.
About British Corner Shop
British Corner Shop are an online supermarket for expats and a lifeline for homesick Brits, like me, who are spending the holidays overseas. They stock over 10,000 much-loved British foods and ship them to expats around the world. Whether you’re craving Ambrosia custard or Warburtons crumpets, The British Corner Shop deliver the products Brits miss the most.
If you’re shopping for someone else their ready-made Brit Kits – including Sandwich Essentials, Cadbury Chocolate Selection and the Mini Christmas Selection – make perfect gifts. I’ve been the lucky recipient of a couple and they never fail to put a smile on my face.
Exclusive Reader Offer
Get £20 off your first order over £75 at the British Corner Shop using the code GIRLTWEETSWORLD and make an expat very happy.
This post was written in association with British Corner Shop but all ideas and recommendations are my own.
Have a Merry Christmas wherever you are celebrating!