Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Away for Christmas

Published:Sunday | December 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson


Those who have family and friends to spend the most wonderful time of the year with, should count their blessings. Not everyone is so fortunate. Many persons, some of whom live overseas while their family members are back home in Jamaica, will have to contend with being away from the ones they love most, this season.

So, how do you celebrate Christmas while being away from loved ones? Outlook put the question to Paul Thompson who lives in Germany*. He explained that he has been away from family, for not one, not two, but six Christmases. "Being away from family during the Christmas holiday is hard sometimes. The first year I spent with a close family friend in Salzburg. The second and third year, I was invited by my friend to spend with her family and they became another family. My fourth year, I spent with another friend and her family. My fifth year, one of my best friends from high school was on work-study in Munich, and we spent Christmas together. Then, last year, I spent the Christmas with some really good friends I have started to look on as family."

He continued: "In a way, I have found a way to have extended family that I spend the holiday with. This year, I have to work on Christmas, so after, I will host a dinner with my colleagues as none of us are able to go home to be with our families."

Lisa Waren* who lives in the United States shared similar sentiments stating that her last few Christmases away from home have been rough, to say the least. "The only memorable ones were when I came home to visit in 2013 and 2010. My first Christmas here, my best friend who was my roommate then had got married two days before and we went to Long Island to celebrate with his family. Last year, when I moved to Los Angeles, I went hiking, then Denny's (restaurant) with the people I hiked with, then went home and called some family and friends." She added: "This year, it may be movies and a hike."




While Warren and Thompson have attempted to make the best of their situations, Dawn Dixon* remains inconsolable since being separated from family and friends during this jolly season. "My Christmas definitely hasn't been the same as it was back home with family and close friends who have become family. For me, being away and in college, I don't even feel the Christmas spirit," she said.

"Someone just invites you over. You go to eat, have a few conversations with new people and then go home. That's pretty much it. When I'm home, my family and I exchange gifts and talk about growing up. We would even make jokes and have genuine laughs over memories made both back then or in the moment. It's just not the same."