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Emigrating offers promise and opportunity to immigrant families, but it also means leaving behind friends, family, and loved ones in your home country. That distance is particularly difficult during the holidays, a time of tradition and togetherness.

As you prepare for the holiday season in a new country, how can you maintain a connection to your home country while making your place in a new community? Use these ideas to honour holiday traditions and bring new meaning to the holiday season, presented below by the Immigration Lawyers Organisation.

How to feel close to home during the holidays

Just because you’ve moved doesn’t mean you have to leave holiday traditions behind. Keep your culture alive by eating traditional meals, decorating with traditional keepsakes, and engaging in the rituals that mean most to you. You can also meet other people from your culture in your new country and share in holiday traditions together. Faith communities, ESL classes, and social networking sites are good places to connect with fellow immigrants.

Technology allows you to connect even when separated by long distances. Video-calling apps like Zoom, Skype, and Whatsapp are a lifeline for immigrant families. Instead of taking turns on the phone and paying high long-distance calling rates, groups can talk face-to-face for free over the internet or for low rates when calling an international landline or mobile device.

Experiencing holiday traditions in a new country

It’s equally important to make connections in your new country. Make an effort to learn about holiday traditions in your new country and participate in ways that align with your beliefs and values. Communicate School notes that many holiday traditions in the UK aren’t religious in nature, such as baking holiday treats, making gingerbread houses, or decorating your home with light displays. Families can also visit local holiday fairs and events in their community.

Watching classic holiday movies is another great way for immigrant families to acquaint themselves with holiday traditions. Must-watch holiday movies include A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34thStreet, A Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and Elf.

Do you want to do something more meaningful for your new community? Volunteering is another worthwhile holiday tradition. Participate in a toy drive or canned food drive, volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank, visit residents in hospitals and nursing homes, or sponsor a family for holiday gift-giving. VolunteerMatch is one of the leading websites for locating volunteer opportunities in your area.

Make your new home a stress-free oasis

Decluttering and cleaning are essential steps in creating a stress-free environment in your new home. Decluttering involves getting rid of unnecessary belongings, which not only frees up physical space but also reduces mental clutter. This process allows you to create a more organised and functional living space, making it easier to find things and move around without obstacles.

Additionally, a clean home promotes a sense of order and cleanliness, reducing the anxiety and stress that can arise from a messy or dirty environment. When your home is decluttered and clean, you can relax and enjoy your space, knowing that everything is in its place and your surroundings are fresh and inviting, contributing to a more peaceful and harmonious living experience. Holidays may look different for immigrant families, but you don’t have to say goodbye to the traditions you hold dear. It’s easier than ever for immigrant families to stay connected to loved ones in their home country. In a new country, immigrants enrich the holiday season by adding their own culture to local traditions and bringing new meaning to holiday togetherness