Tuesday 9 December 2014

Thinking Out Loud

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So this season will be my first ever Christmas away from my family. I know, I'm a grown up (physically if not fully mentally), but there is still a huge part of me that finds this a harsh reality to face. It is a big part of life, spreading your wings, forging your own path into your unknown future, and this year has seen many an eye opening new chapter. Moving out of home is the exciting part, especially moving in with a partner, but moving countries has proven a whole different story!

I can't believe I've surpassed three seasons here, in my new home. To be honest, I'm patting myself on the back for having held my shhhtuff together during this year! An adventure; yes. Exciting; heck yes. But difficult beyond belief; you betcha. And as the lights on the tree begin to sparkle, the old festive tunes find their way onto the radio stations and the sky settles to that thick white grey blanket, it's this time of year that really hits hard and reminds me how things have changed, what doors have opened before me but also closed at my heel, but mostly how much I miss my family and how wonderful our Christmases have been!

On the flip side of the coin, being away from your usual and familiar surroundings forces you to get some perspective on your world. It makes you appreciate the little things you once took for granted, it brings you closer together as it takes a lot more effort to spend time but it also opens your eyes to new experiences, differing cultures and allows you to broaden your thinking and vision of how the world turns. 

This year will not be about presents and shopping and spending. It will be about spending time with my Dutch family over the holidays and planning the most amazing trip to England in the new year, to spend time with my English family. I've kept myself busy making hand made Christmas cards and tree decorations as a little trinket to post home, and to place on my very own little tree. I will be calling and skyping to no end, not to mention attempting to add a Yorkshire pud here and there with our meals here in Holland!

I spend time this year, rather than pennies. Effort instead of gifts. And plan on making all kinds of new memories whilst combining my two worlds.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with distance during the holidays? Any fun festive ideas to bring people closer despite a physical distance? What are your family plans over this wintery period? If any one has a solitary Christmas in mind, PLEASE don't hesitate to drop me a line or get in touch :)


  1. Lovely post, thanks for sharing! Skype is always my go to when i'm away from family and friends over the festive period! <3

    I have a new post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts;



    1. It is such a great tool when away from those familiar faces, isn't it?! I will be sure to check out your latest post, Helen!

  2. I suggest doing some Facetime or video chats with friends & family. Watch lots of childhood movies. Remember that nothing is permanent & you can still enjoy the holiday without loads of gifts. Growing up is difficult but it gets easier. :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    1. Ahh thank you for your wonderful advice! Watching childhood movies is an excellent idea and a great way to get into the festive mood!! : D

  3. Lovely post Gemma :) I love what you wrote about how being away from home makes you appreciate things you might have previously taken for granted and helps brings you closer to your family - I think this is a great perspective to have. While this Christmas might be different from past years, I hope you make some great new memories :)


    1. : ) Thank you. That is incredibly kind of you. I am sure thing will settle and find a way of becoming routine eventually.

      I hope you are well and getting into the Christmassy spirit : )