Keeping the Holiday Humbug at Bay

Hello, there. During the holiday season, it can be quite difficult to be away from home. For the first time in my life, I am spending much of my holiday season (not the actual holidays, thank goodness!) away from friends, family, and the daily sights I associate with holiday times. I think that if I struggle with this problem, many others probably struggle with it, too. And if you don’t, dear reader, then count your blessings. Perhaps this post will remind you to be thankful for what you have. And for those that will be away from home this season, I hope the tidbits I share will help you get through (and enjoy) the holidays.

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My way to feel better: Hot Chocolate with Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and my favorite holiday film, The Holiday, all in a blurry & happy haze

 Bring/buy/make decorations from home. Ok, well I am not saying to bring your mother’s extremely valuable Santa ornament that she’s had for 20 years, or the angel that goes atop your family tree. I am only suggesting that you try to find something that brings home a little bit closer. I have always gotten a Fresh Balsam candle from Bath & Body Works when it arrived in stores. This year, though I’m not allowed to have candles where I live, I do have a plug-in Bath & Body Works Wallflower that creates the same smell from home. Buy a miniature plastic tree and decorate it with little things around your home, like twinkle lights and pretty ribbon. Honestly, trees don’t need ornaments to be beautiful.

Do you have a favorite drink during the holidays? Well, don’t just save it for when you’re at home! Drink it wherever you are. While you sip, close your eyes and breathe. Perhaps you can almost trick yourself into thinking you’re near home, even for a few seconds. I have done this so many times, and not only during the holidays. When I eat a macaron, I close my eyes and try to convince myself that I’m taking a bite from the Champs-Élysées.

Partake in some holiday shopping. At first, I was very very very against going to the Christmas section of the Target near my place. I didn’t want to see that the holiday season was upon us, whether I was home or not. Once I got over my “fear”, if we can call it that, I began enjoying the Christmas decorations around me. Who knows? Maybe where you currently live, they decorate differently than where you’re from. Being from Seattle, I’m not used to seeing Christmas trees outside. When I was at Newport yesterday, I saw a towering (outdoor!) tree at Fashion Island! I was stupefied. Suddenly, a lightbulb went off. Maybe I should start appreciating what I have right here! I mean, surely these people celebrate Christmas as much as we do, up north. This does not mean you need to forget the home traditions. It is merely a suggestion to appreciate what you have, wherever you are.

Smile. I think this tip should be at the end of every “tips” list. Especially during the holidays, a smile goes a long way. If nothing else, this is a very easy tradition to bring along with you. I’m sure you smiled quite often during the holiday season at home, right? Exactly. By bringing that holiday cheer smile to your new place, you will be able to enjoy yourself and your surrounding much more. I think that Charlie Chaplin says it best… “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile- If you just smile.”

So, dear reader, there you go. No matter where you are this holiday season, I hope that the tidbits I’ve shared will help you through the holiday homesickness. If you have any other tips or tricks for keeping the holiday blues at bay, please comment with them down below! But, most importantly, stay true to yourself and do what makes you feel better. I know we all have busy schedules this time of year. Alas, if we could all find just five or ten minutes to breathe, and revel in the holiday cheer, you will feel closer to home.

—Chloe

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