My favourite time of the year is fast approaching. Christmas.

More than any other celebration, Christmas for me has remained the most magical time. For those of you who celebrate, I know that it can be a difficult time for many. We too have empty places at our table and gatherings where loved ones once sat. We also miss sharing time with expat friends who moved on. Their absence has altered, removed, and sometimes strengthened the traditions we love to follow as a family. Being Expats, we have also embraced traditions from other countries. Our celebrations are all the richer for it. I know that some expat families are unable or have chosen not to make the journey home or to have families visit during this time. The expat lifestyle can be amazing but at times like this, it can take an awful lot of personal resolve to navigate through special days and milestones missed. This January is my daughter’s 21st birthday. One of those milestones I will not be there for. Of course, I would love to be there in person, but it will be a Zoom birthday. She is trying to make me feel better saying ‘Mum, many kids aren’t physically home for their 21st because they are away at university. I know you will be thinking of me’. I am hoping that she is telling me that she will feel my presence. That for me would be the sign of a strong bond that expat distance fails to break. This lifestyle has taught me to appreciate the moments that are good, when everything is as it should be and for the times that are challenging, when special days and milestones are missed, well I choose to be highly creative around them.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone! From our family to yours, wherever you are. May your heart miles feel shorter than your expat miles.

Kathy.