Travelling at Christmas is hard for people like me, who are actually crazy about all that christmas magic. It is the time of time of the year, where even Germans become nice and emotional. I love love and it breaks my hard to make people miss me on this day. So even I'm in a country with different culture and calendar, always changing people, I get homesick around christmas.
So here I list you my best tips how to surround yourself in Christmas magic while traveling:
The good thing about the fact that Christmas became consum-fest number one world wide, is that no matter in which kind of culture you are, you will find Christmas trees! Max actually supprised me with a tiny little Christmas tree just before Christmas. It's actually not more than a little bush, but it still gives you the proper Christmastree smell. We decorated it with some chocolates and Christmas bulbs I found in the supermarket for not more than 40cents.
Of course, I also hate listening to Last Christmas all the time! But seriously, christmas music gives you the definetly fastest flash back in Christmas feelings you can get. So Hallelujah, Spotify and YouTube Playlists!
The nicer version would be to find the live version of such songs, which leads me to my next point.
Essetial about christmas is the getting together. Being far from friends and family around Christmas isn't always easy. So look for something where people get together - like theater, opera, concerts or something like that. If you are in a bigger city you probably will find an opera which might have such things like swan sea or the nutcracker in their program.
Even better are concerts or even a choir in church, that can give you the right feeling about christmas.
Advertising and Marketing experts know: Make it nice and comfortable and people will buy more. Good for you, being on a journey in a consumer focused city! Just visit a big shopping mall, no matter where and you will find christmas lights, a christmas tree and people shopping stressful around you. Most of them not being christian :D If you sitting there listing you christmas playlist, drinking a hot chocolate, you will feel really close to christmas magic.
Manderins and organges are probably wherever you are. They grow in warm countries and are exported to cold countries. Grab some and prick some cloves in, any smelly hostel becomes your christmas cave.
Making presents for some people either via post packages to people at home, or to people you just met, is a great thing to get in the right christmas thinking. Moreover you will make people happy, which is the greatest about christmas, right?
If you are in a really different culture, than you are on your own and you feel so homesick, that you just want to be with people from your own country, you can talk to you Ebassy. Often forgein Ebassys have christmas party's for people of their country or at least they can give you some tips where your nationality hangs out, so that you will find some people to talk to in you mothertounge.
As some of you might have forgotten: Christmas is the birth of Jesus and a christian day 😜 So why not going to church and celebrating the proper fest? Probably your embassy can tell you where you will find a church with a christmas mass. Even if you are not religious, it will be nice, if you just go there to shake hands with other people you afterwards say "Merry Christmas" to.
All those tips might be nice and still they won't bring you back your loved ones. But hey, we live in times of skype, Whatsapp, viber, Facebook and Co. - So make video conferences and if the Internet connection is really bad, just make a video and upload it in a cafe, hotel or wherever you can find wifi.
Nevertheless most traveller are quite good in making contacts. So don't be alone on christmas. Organize your own little christmas party. Cook for your new friends and people in your Airbnb flat, celebrate with your couchsurfer, invite people for pizza in your hotel room or go to a restaurant. And if you have some presents, christmas-lights, the right smell and music and maybe some hot wine and great people, it will be a great christmas!
Merry Christmas everyone!!