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Christmas as an Adult Third Culture Kid




I think most people recall how Christmas was like when we were younger. In the weeks before Christmas Day, the anticipation would slowly grow and the yuletide spirit would enter our hearts for another season. As each day passed, the number of Christmas decorations hanging on the wall would only grow. Every minute or so, a different Christmas song would come on the radio and in the mornings, with the naked trees, their frozen branches shimmering in the crisp winter sunlight, the children would ride sledges and make snowmen and as they got tired they would sit by the fire, warm their little bodies and talk eagerly about the presents they had wished for.

Of course, our thoughts on how Christmas should be and our way of celebrating it will vary depending on where we are from. You might have spent Christmas in the blistering heat of Australia or in wet and windy Bangladesh. Christmas as a Third Culture Kid would often mean travelling from the host culture (the country where you went to school) to your passport culture and maybe going from a sub-tropical climate to an artic one and from a Muslim country to a Christian one. Understandably, all of this would affect how we would spend those precious two-weeks of our Christmas holiday. More often than not the Christmas schedule would be full of Christmas parties and family gatherings with familiar and unfamiliar faces in equal measure.

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Christmas as an Adult Third Culture Kid could be much different. Now, each family member could be living in a different country. Your parents could have gotten divorced. You mother could have moved back to your passport culture, whilst you father moved (yet again) to a different country for work and your sister or brother may be studying abroad and of course, then there is you, the one who’s suffering from “itchy feet” and stuck on an everlasting journey of self-discovery spanning three continents and six countries. Mid-to-late October you get a phone call from one of your parents asking about Christmas plans and everybody decides that it would be a good idea to take a break from what they are doing, travel across the world and meet somewhere to spend some time together. During these precious days we are expected to reacquaint ourselves with one another, to catch ourselves up with the happenings of everybody else’s life and then, oh yes, to celebrate Christmas as well and the pressure might be on to make it the best Christmas ever!

Yes, Christmas can sometimes feel overwhelming. Especially if you are travelling halfway across the world to make it happen. During your time away from your family you may have grown into a different person, a person that your parents may not expect you to be. As fun as Christmas can be, it can also be stressful. In these moments, try to remember the Christmas of old, the days when you were a child and embraced it with all your heart. Let yourself go. You are no longer you. You are the embodiment of a spirit, made to experience humanity at its kindest moment.

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Help us spread the word about our practice and stand a chance of winning a gift card worth 50 USD. We want to reach people in need whatever their background, especially those who are living a cross cultural lifestyle. Upon analysing our list of Facebook Likes, we realized that we do not have as strong of a Third Culture Kid following as we would have liked. So, we are calling upon all the people on our list, especially Third Culture Kids, to help us raise awareness of our practice. Please invite your friends and let’s build a strong community together!

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Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions. Although our therapy services are specifically tailored to Third Culture Kids (people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture) and Cross Culture Kids, we welcome all people who seek our help. Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 5-sessions or 10-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.

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