Christmas can be a challenging time for South African expats living abroad. If your family and friends are not with you and you haven’t yet had the chance to create your own network, it can be a lonely time as you hanker for that good old South African festive spirit. To assist you, we have compiled a series of articles that will add a South African flavour to your expat Christmas. Consider placing some traditional South African gifts under the tree or creating your own South African Christmas feast with a touch of eggnog on the side. It also helps to become accustomed to the traditions of your new country, so we’ve looked at the different ways other countries celebrate Christmas. If all else fails and you are still feeling the Christmas blues, we have some tips to help you shake them off, so you can join in the festivity around you.
Christmas gift ideas
If you’re scratching your head about what to give your family and you’re living abroad, then there is no better solution than an authentic South African gift, which will bring a little South African warmth to their hearts. Your gift could be anything from a South African recipe book that includes South African tastes and flavours or even a South African book hamper. What could be more exciting than opening the pages of the new Deon Meyer, or a favourite Athol Fugard novel? Another great South African gift is a Christmas treat hamper consisting of everyone’s South African favourites – from rusks to apricot jam!
Next to a Turkey on the table, nothing is more welcome than Biltong under the Christmas tree. This year why not consider making Biltong the main ingredient of your Christmas feast. You could start your meal with some delicious biltong soup, followed by a biltong quiche or even a biltong and avocado salad. Warm Biltong muffins are a great way to start a cold Christmas morning – and no matter what day of the festive season it is, a thick slice of biltong bread is always welcome!
Beating the heat at Christmas
Are you spending Christmas in South Africa or an exotic tropical destination? Well, then it’s likely that the thought of a hot Christmas meal is the last thing on your mind. Dining al fresco, however, can be just as festive as snuggling up indoors. Consider adding some South African favourites to your menu like smoked snoek pâté or a Karoo Lamb Potjie!
Putting the Christmas blues to bed
Christmas can be a difficult time for expats living abroad, who are far away from friends and family. Celebrations can often be a stark reminder of the people and places you miss. There are however a lot of ways you can perk yourself up at Christmas – from giving a gift to someone in need to starting a gratitude blog where you list all the things you are grateful for in your life. The good news is that eating can also help you feel happier and Christmas is a time when you can find plenty of delicious food to fuel your body and mind.
If you are a South African celebrating Christmas in your new country and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration from South Africa, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.