Since my family is spread across the country, there’s no way that I can visit everyone every holiday season. As a matter of fact, my husband and I have celebrated Christmas on our own since we got engaged. Here are some creative ways to enjoy Christmas if you can’t visit your family:
1. Take a trip.
One Christmas, my husband and I splurged on a trip to London and Paris. Another year, we set sail on a cruise. We usually take a trip around Christmas or New Year’s so that we don’t go stir-crazy while everyone else is traveling around the country, visiting their families.
If you’re on a tight budget, take a road trip to anywhere that’s a couple of hours away from you. You don’t even have to stay the night, so feel free to make your travel plans fit your timetable. You can even invite some friends to tag along and make memories together as you head to your destination!
2. Create your own traditions.
Whether you loved them or hated them, chances are that you grew up with family holiday traditions. When you celebrate Christmas away from family, though, you can pick and choose which traditions you’d like to continue and plan new traditions you’d like to start. And if you’re unsure which traditions you’d like to follow, Pinterest has great lists of cute Christmas traditions for you to check out.
My husband and I also started a couple of our own traditions that you can follow too. Every year, we give each other a pair of Christmas pajamas and new ornaments for the tree. We open these two gifts on Christmas Eve and save the rest to enjoy Christmas morning. Of course, we also give each other “traditional” gifts like deodorant, gum, toothbrushes, and candy. And on Christmas Eve, we watch Christmas movies all day, and we never leave Elf out of our movie marathon!
3. Celebrate with friends.
When my husband and I lived on an Air Force base, we got together with our friends who also stayed behind for Christmas so that we could all celebrate together. Celebrating the holidays with friends was so much fun because we actually experienced our friends’ Christmas traditions too. Everyone wore their pajamas, we brought over food and drinks, and we played games that were a Christmas traditions in our friends’ families.
So find out which of your friends are staying behind during the holidays and invite them over for a potluck! You can play games, watch movies, or even just socialize! Don’t turn your get-together into some elaborate party (unless that’s your thing). Just enjoy Christmas time together with your besties.
4. Skype with your family.
Of course, if you really miss your family but you can’t be physically near them, hop on Skype and join in on the festivities digitally! Many people curse technology, but sometimes it helps families celebrate together, even if they can’t all celebrate in the same room.
5. Above all, relax!
The best part about spending Christmas by yourself is that you don’t have to worry about anything! No awkward family conversations, no dressing up for dinner, no pictures, and no weird family gatherings. You can just chill out in your pajamas, drink a bottle of wine, and watch television all Christmas Day long. The holidays are your time off, and you deserve to spend them however you want to!
Depending on who you ask, spending Christmas away from family is either a blessing or a curse. But no matter how you choose to celebrate, make sure that you make the most of your festivities and do whatever you want!