By: Samantha Purcell-Musgrave
The holidays are here and some of us won’t have the chance to fly back home and see our families. If this is your first holiday away from home, it can be really difficult to cope with. This is the time of year that family traditions take over and warm, fuzzy hugs are exchanged with your loved ones. However, even if you can’t physically be with your family this holiday, you can still celebrate on your own! It may not be the same, but you shouldn’t have to be sad during one of the happiest times of the year.
When it comes to holiday traditions, it’s hard to imagine the holiday without them. Especially, if those traditions have been a part of your life since the very beginning. Now, just because you’re not home, it doesn’t mean you have to give those traditions up. One simple solution is to bring a part of that tradition with you to your new home or wherever you may be for the holiday. If you can’t bring a part of the tradition with you, perhaps you can create a small replica of the tradition. For example, if you make holiday ornaments on Christmas Eve to put that finishing touch on the Christmas Tree, purchase the supplies to make an ornament of your own. Then, when you are able to go back home, you can bring it with you so it can be placed on the tree next year.
Everyone has different reasons as to why they can’t be home for the holidays. One popular reason, especially for recent college graduates, is that you moved out of state or moved just far enough away that the money isn’t there to travel back home. Another reason may be that you are on a business trip that could not be rescheduled. Whatever the reason may be, when celebrating a holiday away from home, try to think small. Remember, if missing a holiday at home with your family is not going to be a common occurrence, you do not want to purchase unnecessary items. So, when purchasing decorations, even food (unless your celebrating with other people), make smaller purchases. This will help you avoid any issues with trying to find a space to pack up everything. Also, if you’re traveling, it will help save you the hassle of trying to travel with unnecessary items. Plus, you’ll be taking the pressure off of your bank account!
It is also good to keep in mind that you are not the only one that cannot be home for the holidays. So, stretch your legs and go take a walk around the local area. Find out what the locals do to celebrate the holidays, what events are going on, or what deals the restaurants have. Use this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons and see what else is out there. You never know who or what you may find!
Another thing to keep in mind, we do live in the 21st century. If you have access to a web camera, a computer, and the internet, go ahead and set up a Skype call with your family. Although you may not physically be there, you can at least enjoy the festivities long distance. It may be a tease to see all the good holiday food, but seeing your family’s smiling faces will more than make up for it!
Just remember, it may feel like the end of the world, but try to take this experience in stride. Turn this holiday into one where you can create your own traditions, socialize with other people who can’t be home for the holiday either, and explore a different setting if you are some place unfamiliar. Make the most of your situation and celebrate the upcoming holiday with happiness instead of sadness.
Image courtesy of tiramisustudio/freedigitalphotos.net
Samantha Purcell-Musgrave is a Junior at the University of Central Florida. She is currently studying Health Services Administration and Journalism. She would like to one day become the CEO of a hospital. Once she achieves that goal, she would like to be a writer for a music magazine. Overall, Samantha would like to help foster the growth of a company into something bigger than itself. During her downtime, she likes to go to musical theater, concerts and operas. She also likes to travel, take photographs, write and spend time with her friends and family.