Surviving the Holidays Away from Home
The holidays bring back dozens of delightful memories of childhood: family gatherings around a delicious feast on the table, mischief with cousins and siblings, unwrapping that special gift you wished and waited for. As an adult, of course, Christmas and the other holidays feel a bit different and less magical, but they still hold a special place on our calendars and in our hearts. So what do you do when the holidays are completely sabotaged by a new lifestyle? Living far away from home sounds like a great idea in August, but when December rolls around, it can be downright depressing. Never fear, fellow wanderers! It is possible to make the holidays happy even when you won’t be home for Christmas.
Get in the Holiday Spirit. It’s tough to have the motivation to decorate when you’re doing it just for yourself, but pull out that box of ornaments anyway and start decking the halls. Put on Christmas music that reminds you of home—you can find anything on Youtube, even playlists from long-forgotten cassette tapes.
Keep Up with Family Traditions. You mom isn’t here to make Christmas morning cinnamon rolls with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them. Get her recipe and make it yourself, knowing that on the other side of the country, she’s doing it with you in spirit.
Treat Friends Like Family. Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean you have to be alone. If you have friends in the same boat as you—perhaps a handful of other travel nurses—set up a holiday event to enjoy together.
Find New Holiday Things to Enjoy. What does your new town do for the holidays? Maybe you can’t go to the annual Christmas lights festival in your hometown’s historic district, but maybe there’s a Christmas fair in the park down the street. Instead of pining for the familiar celebrations, embrace something new. Enjoy every minute of it.
Call Home. Thank goodness we live in an age of video chat! Remember, people back home are probably missing you just as much as you’re missing them. Call home during the holidays, especially on the big day itself. A nice, long video chat might make you feel a little homesick, but it will bring so much joy when you see friendly faces and hear the voices you miss so much.