You want to give the kids the best Christmas they could ever imagine. But you’re also an expat and your family will somehow always be split. Between what you have here in the new place and the people you love far away.


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There are many ways to stay in touch, but in those moments that matter it’s impossible not to grieve because the people you want by your side can’t be there.

On some level you know the kids will have a great Christmas either way. With presents, games, family and fun. But what about you? What about the mum that smiles with her heart so full of love, yet feels sad and disconnected. The woman with a tiny part of her heart breaking and no one else seems to hear it?

You are not alone in feeling this way and there are some quick ways to gain perspective and have a really loving Christmas. No matter where in the world you are.

Here are some of the ways:

1) Love YOU!

Yes you love the kids, your partner and your family. You need to choose to love you too. Make this Christmas the one where you have nice little treats for yourself just as much as you make them happen for others!

2) Bridge the gap

Come up with a fun inventive way to let the people far away be part of your Christmas dinner or breakfast.

With today’s technology there is not much that limits us from connecting.

3) Smile more

By just doing it more you start to feel happier. Neurologically it’s the quickest way to fool the brain and actually start enjoying yourself. It’s not a permanent fix, but it helps even if it feels a bit unnatural at the start.

4) Write it all down

Your own letter to Santa if you will. All your sadness, worries and whatever else are taking up time and space in the brain archive. Share parts of this letter if you like with your partner and family (but make sure it’s shared from a space and purpose of bringing you closer together!).

When you’re done writing (and sharing if you prefer to do so) then destroy the letter in a way that suits you. Tear it up, burn it or crumple it into a little ball. This helps you leave those things behind you and make this Christmas matter in every way possible.

Sometimes thoughts need to come out of the mind to be processed in order for us to move on.

Life is not always easy, but country borders or time zones does not limit a heart full of love.

Are you an expat or do your loved ones live interstate? How do you celebrate Christmas? 

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  • With covid a lot of people have been getting a taste of what its like to be alone for Christmas :(


  • Christmas has been just myself, hubby and our 2 kids for quite a few years now. Then it dropped back to just 1 kid and soon it will be no kids. You learn to cope, although it is sad


  • Thank you for the article. Cheers.


  • yes christmas is very bittersweet hey. the whole day is about family and it can be sad if they aren’t there with you.


  • Our family lives in Europe and Africa. I message with my sisters and mum on WhatsApp (we made a group) and I Skype (video call) my parents nearly weekly and that is lovely. And sometimes we write the good old fashioned cards and letters :) .


  • With technology the world has become a smaller place and it is easier to stay in touch and be connected with everyone. We stay in touch and use technology to keep relationships in good shape.


  • My loved ones live interstate, loved ones being my son. I don’t have contact with any of my relatives or hubby’s relatives, they’re just arseholes that I don’t want to knoe


  • It can be a problem when loved ones are scattered but modern day technology does make it easier than before.


  • Both my family and my husband’s family live in Europe, so we are are used to celebrate Christmas alone. It’s not a big deal actually. We have created our own traditions and Christmas time is not that hectic this way.


  • We have this issue every year – my husbands and my families are spread across WA, NSW, QLD and overseas. Not making a fuss of it and making Christmas your own whilst communicating freely with family really helps. The world has changed a lot.


  • Where there was once loving parents, siblings, and in-laws sitting around the table at Christmas, now’s there’s only three of us. Loved ones have passed away, siblings have become estranged, others have moved away …It has taken time, and there will always be some sadness, but I’ve accepted the course that time has taken and am grateful for the three of us now sitting at the Christmas table.


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