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Happy Christmas!

Saturday 24th December 2011

Are you travelling this Christmas? Away from home? Or maybe you are at home saving your cash for your gap year trip in 2012, wherever you are, we wish you a very happy Christmas!

Being away at Christmas can be brilliant, but it can also seem a bit weird. The food is different, you're not at home, the routine is different, the weather is odd. If you are having Christmas downunder, you may well spend Christmas day in your bikini or budgie smugglers, havng a barbie on Bondi Beach, which is about as faraway from a traditional British Christmas as you can get! If you are travelling in South East Asia or South America, you will be surrounded by completely different traditions and celebrations. The rule is, wherever you are, make sure you are in the Christmas spirit - peace and goodwill to all!

Here are a few Christmassy facts to get you in the mood for a festive season overseas, whether it is this year or next:

  • In Finland, everyone cleans their houses in anticipation of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
  • In many countries, you open your presents on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day
  • In some European countries, if children have been naughty, they get a stick rather than a present 
  • In many countries, including Vietnam and Romania, children leave out their shoes rather than a stocking for Father Christmas to fill with presents
  • In Japan Christmas Eve is an important date for single ladies, when they get given presents from potential boyfriends. It is also seen as a lucky time to get engaged 
  • In Mexico the three wise men bring presents, rather than Santa, and January 6th, or Epiphany is seen as the day to receive gifts.
So wherever you are, have a very happy Christmas, and enjoy!