No doubt someone you know has told you how many sleeps it is until Christmas Day. At the point of writing this it’s exactly 35 days, 10 hours and…21 minutes.
Even though it’s only just November and the majority of people are far too busy to even think about putting their decorations up, you could argue that expats need to start thinking about Christmas plans earlier than most. With family and friend spread across the globe, the holiday period can often turn into a frantic tangle of logistics as you attempt to organise gifts and get-togethers whilst simultaneously dealing with day-to-day tasks – like your job.
One of the first questions and expat should ask themselves as early as possible is where will Christmas day be spent? If you plan on travelling home, it’s worth bearing in mind that flights book up fast, and increase in price rapidly. If purse strings are tight and you can’t afford to fly to family could they afford to come to you? Another option could be meeting halfway and renting a house for you and your family to stay in. Again, you have to keep ahead of the game when it comes to holiday homes so don’t leave it until the last minute!
The second most important task after deciding on location is to work out how long it will take your gifts to reach their required destination. Once you’ve chosen some socks for your Uncle and a box of chocs for Granny get them in the post! Mail ordering can take time if presents have to travel halfway round the world. Be sure to find out exactly how long your packages will take so that you can plan around that. It’s also crucial to insure anything you send against loss or damage.
We all know that Christmas can be a very, if not the most, expensive time of the year. Drawing up a budget that takes into account everything mentioned above as well as food, Christmas activities and even winter clothes if it’s your first year in a cold country!
After the all wrapping, sticking, decorating, cooking, singing and shopping is done you can relax…only 365 more sleeps until the next one!
Are you spending your first Christmas in a new country? Let us know how it will be different for you and your family!