In today’s mobile society, it is common to find oneself away from loved ones during the holidays. This can add stress and sadness to a time that should be happy and filled with family and friends. There are many ways to celebrate the holidays away from home that allow you to reconnect with the people you care about and maybe even meet some new friends.

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Gift giving

Most holidays involve some sort of gift exchange. Even though you may be far away from family and friends, you can still shop for thoughtful gifts and ship them. Since loved ones are probably missing you, as well, photo albums and other personalized gifts are always a welcome treat. If school or work are keeping you away from home during the holidays, you will also want to be sure to pick up a few neutral gifts, such as wine or live plants, to give as gifts at any functions you may attend in your new area.

Maintain traditions

Most families have holiday traditions that add continuity to these special days. You can make your holiday away from home special by continuing those traditions and making up a few new ones. Treasured decorations, menu items, and activities normally enjoyed with family during the holidays can still add that special touch, no matter how far you are from home.

Throw a party!

There is no reason to spend the holidays alone and the easiest way to surround yourself with people you like is to invite them to a holiday party, complete with traditional foods, gift exchanges, football games, or whatever else means a holiday celebration to you and your guests. Odds are, they are missing their families as much as you are, and you invitation will be welcomed.


For those who are hit especially hard by being away from home during the holidays, depression can be a real problem. To break that chain of sadness and loneliness, volunteering is an easy way to get out of your rut, meet new people, and see that you are not as bad off as you may have thought. Soup kitchens, USOs, churches, community organizations, and groups such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters are always in need of volunteer support, especially during the holidays.

Use technology

As much fun as old fashioned Christmas cards are to send and receive, modern technology can be used to help you be as close as possible to those you miss the most. Video chat, instant messaging, texting, and calling are all good ways to touch base with family and friends across the globe. If the holiday dinner is traditionally served at a specific time, you can call then to wish everyone a happy holiday and to hear the voices of those you love. The Internet can also be used to meet like-minded people to spend the holidays with in your new area.

Have fun!

There is no point in sitting around, feeling badly about being alone during the holiday season. Decorate your living space. Go out for a special meal. Get outside and go do things that you enjoy or try something completely new: listen to live music, go ice skating or ballroom dancing, attend a sporting event, go to a wine tasting, or any number of activities can help you meet and find new friends and enjoy your holiday, no matter how far you are from home.