It’s almost Christmas! As an expat, it can sometimes get hard when Christmas is around the corner. And, if you have kids, it’s even harder!
Everywhere we go, we are presented with Christmas stimuli – stunning decorations, twinkling lights, Christmas music, tasty treats beckoning to our taste buds, and attractive gifts and toys. Everyone around you is talking about their plans for Christmas, the gifts they are giving, and the gifts they are expecting, and the kids are talking about the gifts they want from Santa!
No wonder there is a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) during this time. After all, who doesn’t want to feel the Christmas vibe?
Even though you may not have celebrated Christmas back in your country, this year can be a good opportunity to experience the magic of Christmas!
7 Ways To Get Into The Christmas Spirit
1. Witness the Festival of Light (Festival de la Luz)
The Festival of Light is one of the most anticipated events of the year in Costa Rica. This event is held in San Jose, and the parade takes over downtown with floats, masquerades, live music, and fireworks. The colors, creativity, and lighting detail are worth noting!
Since this event takes place in December, it is associated with Christmas celebrations. And, this might be one of the best ways to dive into the Christmas spirit.
This year the festival is being held on Saturday, December 17, in San Jose. For more information check https://www.festivaldelaluz.cr
2. Attend Christmas parades & events
Nothing inspires the festive vibe better than a jolly crowd. Check for Christmas events online or check your area for any events coming up. In Costa Rica, every municipality generally holds a parade a few days before Christmas. Check out the Facebook page of your locality and be there for the parade. Also, there are no tickets to the parade. What can be better than that?
3. Head out to the malls
While this may not be for everyone, going to the malls can be a great way to soak in the Christmas feels. The dazzling decoration, the Christmas music, the gift sets, and the festive spirit of the people around will ignite the Christmas spirit in you. You do not have to shop, you just have to treat yourself to an outing and feed off the vibrant atmosphere.
4. Get together with other families
You may not be the only one not celebrating Christmas. There may be other families too. Get together and make plans with them! Organize a potluck dinner, play games, BBQ in the backyard or decorate together. Use this festive time to meet people and build memories with them.
5. Decorate your house
Decorating your house can be a great way to feel the Christmas vibe. Get a Christmas tree, and start decorating it. Put the lights on, place your tree topper, add decorations, and hang your special ornaments. Decorate lights, wreaths, garland, snowmen, reindeer, etc all over your house. You can also put a Christmas crib.
And yes, don’t forget to play Christmas music while you are at it!
6. Enjoy popular Costa Rican Christmas foods & drinks
What is Christmas without food? Be it a family gathering, a Christmas party, or a reunion of friends, food is a big part of the celebration. There are some popular Costa Rican Christmas foods and drinks that are available at this time of the year and having them will evoke the Christmas spirit in you.
Some of them are:
- Christmas Cake (queque Navideño)
- Pork Tamales (tamales Navideños)
- Eggnog (Rompope)
- Roasted Pork Leg (Pata de cerdo)
7. Give out treats
Christmas is a time of giving! You should not only send gifts to your family, friends, and colleagues but also to those who are less fortunate. There are many donation drives at this time of the year, check for your area or on the internet. You can support a charity or cause, or donate your old clothes, toys, food, or even your time to those in need.