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Christmas in Alanya Turkey

Chances are, if you are living here in Turkey, you are about to experience Christmas as an expat. Everything will feel different! Different weather, cultures and customs. For a lot of expats living here in Alanya, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th of December rather than on the 25th.  Whenever you choose to celebrate here are some ideas to help the day go with a swing! 

Turkey seems to have adopted Christmas trees and lights and decorations and the Children here are intrigued by how we spend our Christmas. Many Turkish families decorate their homes in the Christmas style but for their New Year celebrations.  

If like me, you didn’t have space when packing to live here, and you left all your Christmas decorations behind; then fear not! Here in Alanya there are a few options and one of the best is a little shop in Hacet called Pekers. At this time of year, it is dedicated to all things Christmas. Inside there is an array of Santas, tinsel, baubles and other Christmas paraphernalia. I loved it and bought many bits and pieces to place on my tree.  

There are many places that now sell artificial  Christmas trees (think Metro, Koctas and some smaller party shops) and this year I believe there is a garden centre in Oba that sells ‘real’ trees if that’s what you fancy. 

No matter where you live in the world Christmas is about getting together with loved ones to share the day. If you’re an expat, there will no doubt be other expats who are in the same boat as you...away from their family and friends. So, why don’t you get together (a good way to make friends too). Everyone brings something to eat and drink and then it gets shared.   

Maybe you could create some new traditions, swimming in the sea on Christmas day was one we chose to do. Last year it rained here and was quite misty but it didn’t stop us. This year we intend to do the same! 

This year in the Alanya harbour area, which is behind the Town Hall, there will be a New Year Fair (it used to be called the Noel Pazar) on the 11th and 12th of December. It starts at 10 in the morning and runs through until 10 at night. Here you will find a host of different stalls selling knick-knacks from all over the world all obviously Christmas themed. There are food and souvenir stalls, musical entertainment on the main stage and it’s all run by volunteers from the Expat community and Turkish residents. It’s a welcome event in the Christmas social calendar and brings a little Christmas cheer for those of us so far from our homes. 

Some of the bigger hotels and restaurants are also running Christmas day menus. You will need to reserve in advance as they are well booked up.  

However, you choose to spend Christmas, here at Summerhomes we hope it is full of love and peace and happiness.