How To Celebrate Christmas when You Live Overseas

Living abroad, I occasionally find myself puzzled over questions I never even had to consider while living back home. Who to gift Christmas presents to while living overseas is one of them.


Last Christmas I had only been living in New Zealand for one month and, looking back, I really should have organized my Christmas presents before I left Australia. But trying to work full time, sell my things and desperately say goodbye to everyone in three weeks meant I simply didn’t have time.


So I bought my Christmas presents in New Zealand and shipped them back home. I felt guilty for leaving my family, so I sent a present for everyone and bought cute hand painted stockings stuffed with toys for my two gorgeous nephews.


Twelve months later, I no longer feel guilty- i’m living my best life here- and i’m also a lot more anti-consumerism than before. So i’ve decided to only buy for my dad and my grandma back in Australia. Instead of a physical gift, i’ll be gifting my dad money for him to (hopefully) come and visit me again early next year. My dog shattered her leg earlier this year, costing my dad $8000 to fix, and afterwards he explained he probably wouldn’t be able to go on a holiday next year. So I am hoping if I plan him another holiday and put money towards it he will be able to get the holiday he deserves. For my grandma, i’ll arrange some chocolates to be delivered along with a card in the mail.


I will also buy presents for some important people in my life here.


First, my two wonderful flat mates. I’ve decided to buy them each this set of lipsticks from Mecca. I own the red lipstick and I love it so i want them to love it, too.




Secondly, I’ll be getting a gift for my best friend in New Zealand.


Today she pulled up a photograph of a silk sleep mask she really wanted.




“Aren’t they cute?!” she asked me.


“Oh my god, I’ve wanted a silk sleep mask for years!”, I exclaimed.


It looked exactly like one I had seen in a shop a couple of years ago. While I thought it was simply too expensive at the time, I have regretted not buying it since and wished I had one for travelling and my shift work.


“We could totally get matching ones!” Becca continued.


She is moving to Christchurch next week and i sadly won’t get to see her as much so I entertained the thought. We could wear our sleep masks whenever we missed each other- basically every night. It was settled.  For Christmas we would each gift each other a silk sleep mask, making it a far more exciting and wholesome experience than simply buying one each for ourselves.


As an act of self love for the year i’ve endured, i’ve decided to buy a gift for myself, too. As mentioned in earlier posts, I always buy things bearing in mind that one day I will be leaving. So basically, it has to be able to come travelling with me, or wherever i end up. I’ve wanted to buy a keep cup for pretty much the entire year, and I feel guilty at how many coffees I have consumed without one. So this weekend i’ll be heading to Iko Iko, the funkiest store on Cuba Street, to buy myself a Frank Green reusable cup.


frank green


But if an Air New Zealand sale comes up I might have to treat myself to some flights, too. After all, Santa won’t be able to find me in New Zealand, right?




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