If you're not making it 'home' for Christmas, you find yourself desperately trying to embrace the local festivities, the food, the songs, the disorientating focus on the day before Christmas.
But it's not the same, is it? Christmas in another country, however long you've lived there, just doesn't hit the spot. That's hardly surprising, though, since everything we feel about Christmas is so entwined with childhood. It's all about nostalgia and the wise expat doesn't let that go.
These days, there's no need to. With Europe-wide delivery, you can have a Christmas the way you want it, wherever you are.
For the Brits out there – and anyone seeking a bit of that 'Christmas Carol' feeling this year – we've selected ten fabulous British Christmas products from Marks & Spencer. But don't let that limit you – there's a fantastic array of gorgeous gifts to choose from.
Merry British Christmas!
As every Brit abroad knows, tea is more than just a drink; it's like Popeye's spinach, the source of magical powers and a symbol of a retained national identity.
Exaggeration? Perhaps, but any tea over the Christmas period will be improved immeasurably by these gorgeous festive mugs.
Perhaps you've become accustomed to the traditional Christmas carols in your new home country, but the old British standards are still strangely comforting, right?
This line from Silent Night is perfect for a stylish cushion and brings a British touch to any sofa or bed – and it will probably have carols running through your head all season and beyond.
Map of Great Britain
Of course, you've embraced everything your new home country has to offer, but with this beautiful map of the British Isles on your wall you'll feel closer to home every time you glance at it.
(OK, you weren't living there in the 18th century – but who wants a map of the M25 on their wall?) A perfect addition to your home and a great gift for the Brit in your life.
Invite some British woodland friends into your home this Christmas. These felt tree decorations are small enough to hang nicely on the tree, but sturdy enough to stand on their own as mantelpieces as well – or even toys.
This collection of felt fauna is ideal for the little ones who haven’t had the chance to wander through the English woods.
Traditional wrapping paper
You may not want to judge a book by its cover, but if people judge gifts by their wrapping you'll be ahead of the pack with this beautiful paper.
Gifts of all kinds get a traditional makeover with this tin soldier Nutcracker wrapping. Invoke the memories of British Christmas past in your expat Christmas today.
We all do our best to embrace the traditions of our new home country. But don't forget your own.
The more the merrier – indeed, pass your traditions on. A globalized Christmas is perfect for a globalized world – and who can resist a traditional stocking packed with little gifts on Christmas morning?
English oven gloves
Whether you're having turkey or not this year, these oven gloves will bring a festive feel to your kitchen this Christmas – which is critical since that’s where you’ll be spending so much of your time.
It’s also the perfect present for your foodie friends. These gloves turn cooking from chore to cheer.
Nostalgic cake tins
Whether you're baking mince pies, Christmas fruit cake or some local festive treat, it will all taste a lot better coming out of these gorgeous tins.
Decorated with nostalgic images of Christmas, they'll bring a traditionally British flavour to any festive feast.
What would Christmas be without a Christmas jumper? Miserable, that's what.
These cosy sweaters are the perfect attire for any Christmas celebrations – an irresistible ice breaker guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the Scroogiest of yuletide companions.
Owl aroma hottie
Granted, you may have left behind the damp and drafty British climate, but nothing is more comforting in the sack than a warm, fragrant owl.
And chances are, your new European friends will never have seen one. Change their lives with an aromatic hottie – for that friend who’s always got cold feet.