While I’m psyched the holidays are here again, I’m also feeling a bit bummed as well. Since moving to Texas two years ago, the holiday season has put a lot into perspective for me. Previously I always spent Thanksgiving with my sisters, or at my husbands Grandmothers house, surrounded by loved ones. It was truly a day for the books. We would share a delicious meal along with great conversation and lots of laughs. Christmas was a day where Dustin and I would share our time with various family members, rushing around and while it was always a bit chaotic, I wouldn’t have traded any of it for the world. Fast forward and now: This will make our third holiday season spent almost 2,000 miles away from our friends and family. To be completely honest, it absolutely sucks. Being away from our loved ones has given us some much needed perspective, and has truly opened up my eyes. And while I can’t wait for holidays spent alongside our family members, I’m thankful for the distance, because it’s taught me a lot of valuable lessons. Today I want to share with you all my best tips for getting through the holidays when spent away from family.
This is going to be so different from person to person. Some families may not celebrate the holidays, where others go to church, or just have a traditional holiday meal with family. Regardless, everyone celebrates these major holidays differently. Just the other day, I was watching one of my weekly tv shows, This Is Us and saw so many commercials about Black Friday Deals, and Christmas shopping… and while that sounds so exciting to some, it honestly made me a little sad. Sad, because that’s what Christmas seems to have to come to. It’s so important to remember Christmastime is not just about gift giving, but it’s about who and where you spend it with. Regardless of where you are this year, remember to cherish the time spent where you are, and who you are with, because life is a gift, and we only get so much time.
Ever since we moved away from home, I’ve appreciated receiving cards and letters more than ever. As easy as it is to call or text, there’s just something about writing a handwritten card that is just so meaningful. You would be so surprised how much a simple card with just a few sentences would mean so much to someone whose far away. I love writing and sharing photos with my loved ones especially during the holiday season, just to show them how much we truly miss them.
An easy way to nix any sadness you may be feeling on the holidays, is to simply call a loved one. Nowadays most people have a smartphone, or a computer with a webcam. An easy way to see a loved one, even from over 2,000 miles away is by utilizing FaceTime or Skype. If not, a phone call is just as meaningful. As hard as it is to be away from your friends and family, thankfully technology has ways to allow us to be together. It’s crazy how meaningful a five minute FaceTime conversation can be, and surely, it will leave you smiling.
Something we love to do during the holiday season is to shake up the normal traditions we have. Since we don’t have any family here in Dallas, it allows us to spend our time however we want. My husband and I love exploring Dallas, and the surrounding areas, so we will make it a priority to do a little exploring near the holidays. Why not take a trip on Thanksgiving on Christmas, and spend a night in an Airbnb? Instead of a traditional Christmas dinner, grab Chinese takeout instead. Finding new ways to spend the holidays while you’re away from family will always be memorable.
It’s crucial to make time for self-care around the holidays, regardless if you’re away from family + friends or not. It’s so easy to get the holiday blues, or feel super burnt out during this time of year. Take extra care of yourself this holiday season by making time for yourself, to do whatever it is that revives your spirit. Hit up a spa, journal, put on a face mask, hit the gym, do something just for the sake of taking care of YOU. Regardless of how busy you are, check in with yourself and do whatever it is you need to feel your best.
An easy way to stay in the loop this holiday season, regardless of where you are in the world, is by documenting your life on social media. It’s so easy to snap a few pictures, and show your friends and family what you’re doing around the holidays, to make them feel more involved in your life. It can be so hard to stay up to date with how your family is doing, and what’s going on in their personal lives, but social media truly makes it that much easier. Who doesn’t love seeing cute photos of their nieces and nephews visiting with Santa? I know I do!
Have you spent the holidays apart from your family before? How do you celebrate Christmastime?! Share with me in the comments below!