How do you celebrate Christmas when you’re far from home?

It can be difficult to be away from loved ones at Christmas time. It doesn’t really matter why you’re apart: you might have emigrated, you might be on sabbatical, you might be on active service, or you might be working abroad. Whatever the reason, the emotions of not being able to be with family at such a special time of year is the same.

The important thing is to still be able to feel you are in touch with what’s going on at home and also, keeping in touch at Christmas. So how do you celebrate Christmas when you’re far from home?

Christmas Day Celebration

Depending on the country you are in, how you celebrate the traditional Christmas meal may not be possible. If you’re in a Christian country, you have a good chance of a traditional Christmas, but if you’re in a different culture where maybe Christmas isn’t even recognized, it could be difficult.

In this case, plan how you can make Christmas Day special with what you can easily source. Do what you can to create a memorable Christmas to avoid missing the activities you know are going on at home.

Christmas isn’t all just about Christmas Day though. At home, it starts practically in October these days. The immediate run up to Christmas is the most fun though, and you probably want to feel some level of involvement. There are various ways to do this and stay in touch with loved ones.

Christmas Cards

Even in this digital age, there’s something cute and nostalgic about Christmas cards, and if you want to send cards from overseas, there’s a few things you can consider. If Christmas is celebrated in your country of residence, you will undoubtedly be able to find some cards. Having the greeting written in French, German, Spanish, or Italian is a special touch sure to bring a smile.

E-cards are an option but even with the thousands of designs available, can still seem a little impersonal. You might think about using a UK online card retailer who accepts debit/credit card or PayPal payments and who will send the cards direct to the address of your choice. Or, if you’re feeling crafty, make your own.


Whilst not having the same feeling as a Christmas Card, postcards are available pretty much everywhere. Even if it is not a Christmassy image, it can still sit amongst those other cards being received at home. Remember, if you are sending Christmas cards and postcards, to factor in how long the postal service takes from your country of residence to home, and also Royal Mail timings in the UK.

A written greeting is nice but nothing beats being able to actually talk to your family when you’re away from home.


The digital age has made voice communication a breeze. Most homes have some form of computer which gives access to a whole world of messaging via text. Programs like Facebook Messenger, Skype, and the chat function in Googlemail, are all simple to use. If you have a smartphone you can use apps such as Whatsapp or Snapchat. Having “face time” with family is special and easily accessible with the right device.

Phone Call

Despite all these modern ways to communicate, sometimes only a phone call will do. There’s something quite marvellous about hearing a loved one’s voice down the phone – without the disturbance or interference that sometimes comes with video calling – especially in remote areas. The Yolla App enables you to make cheap international calls to any country in the world.

So, if you have grandparents who haven’t embraced the digital age and don’t have smartphones or a laptop to receive video calls, they can receive a special phone call, and thanks to Yolla’s low costs and cheap international calls, you don’t have to be too mindful of the time you spend chatting, nor worry about their device as Yolla international calling app enables you to call any type of phone; landline or mobile.

So, whether it’s Christmas cards, postcards, instant messaging, or a phone call using an international calling app, keeping in touch at Christmas is not as difficult as you might imagine it to be.

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