(Far From) Home Alone: A survival guide to Christmas in Aalborg
When we think of Christmas, we often imagine ourselves spending the day surrounded by those we love.
What happens when we’re alone in a foreign country, far from our closest friends and families?
And what if it’s in Aalborg?
This guide is for those of you who are celebrating Christmas alone in Aalborg and need a bit of inspiration to ‘survive’ the holiday and make some jolly memories along the way.
Fighting the loneliness
From all the cheesy American Christmas movies, we learned that being alone for Christmas is lonely.
While that’s not necessarily true, it’s often hard to fight loneliness when walking through the streets lined up with cozy Christmas lights, knowing we’ll be alone in Aalborg this Christmas.
So how do you fight your loneliness?
My advice: find an alternative family!
Whether it’s friends, colleagues, classmates, neighbors or complete strangers, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with people, however basic that sounds.
For some, this requires a bit of hard work.
Maybe some of our closest friends are going home for Christmas or they spend it with other people… So we have to get more creative: The opportunities for finding friends at events are endless.
Here are some more specific tips:
Work or school events
If you’re working or are a student, see if your department organizes a Christmas party or even a julefrokost (traditional Danish Christmas lunch with games) that you can participate in.
These are great opportunities to hang out with people and get festive for the holidays.
Volunteering, sports & other clubs
Whatever activity you’re into in your free time, check if there’s a social part to it.
Does your football club get together for a Christmas lunch?
Or does your local youth NGO organize an annual Christmas-themed discussion?
Make sure you join and who knows – you might find some new buddies to spend the holidays with.
Lots of Christmas decorations are quite ugly and pricy. So why not make your own?
With some paper, markers and a pair of scissors, you can easily make your own Christmas decorations to make your home into a festive sanctuary that will bring you joy during the holiday.
Plus, crafting seems to be a great cure to ward off stress and anxiety – and you’ll also be able to enjoy the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands.
Even if decorations and crafts aren’t your thing, there’s a DIY field that most people find exciting: food!
Making your own comfort Christmas food, maybe even based on dishes from your home country, relieves some of the homesickness you might feel during Christmas away from home.
You can also invite your friends and make it into a multicultural potluck holiday.
Your loved ones back home
Being away from those you love back home is tough, so make sure you stay connected to them.
Call your parents, FaceTime with your partner, and get updates on your niece’s first steps.
I know it sucks not to have them around, especially during family-oriented holidays like Christmas when everyone else sticks to their own families.
Staying in touch with them for Christmas, although not an elegant solution, can still give you some of the comfort you would’ve felt if you were together.
Have a merry Christmas!