As quick as winter was coming with its snow, Christmas was coming with Santa and holidays. I already expected it to be different than other Christmases I had before. Firstly probably because I'm not with my family and friends I'm used to be with together. But not at least because Christmas here is in some ways just different celebrated than we do it.
A very important thing during this time is definitely buying presents for family and friends. And I'm sure they spend more money here on gifts than we do. I love making gifts for people I like to Christmas but that doesn't have to mean, that they have to be expensive. I prefer if it's a more personal value. So I was thinking more than one day about what I can make my hostfamily as a gift and how I should buy stuff I need for that without letting them see it. If I was in Germany I would just go shopping on my own or with my friends but it's a little more complicated than that. The next shopping possibilities are in Rice Lake, which is town aproximately 20 minutes by car away. And if you don't have a car or somebody who can take you there, you aren't getting there. That's probably the biggest change-over for me: To be dependent on so many people just to get from one point to another. I feel a little uncomfortable to ask people to give me a ride all the time. I mean it's time and costs gas :(
So finally I went the day before Christmas with my host mom and sisters to Rice Lake for Christmas shopping. It took us seven hours to have everything together, but I was lucky , that my hostsisters didn't see, what I was buying for them. (I know I bought something, but it is a really fun game so...) And I got enough stuff for the collage I made for them. I finished that on December the 24th and this is not the day on which they're unwrapping all the gifts. Nope, in America it is in the morning of December the 25th. So I had the whole 24th for wrapping everthing. And I can say, that I feel bad for my host mom, because she was wrapping way more than I did.
Anyway I was happy to skype with my family and my best friend so that it was more a switch of preparing gifts and skyping :D
The Christmas package I sent to Germany arrived also punctually, so that most of my friends could red their letters before Christamas. (Love You Guys!!! <3)
On the right you can see our Christmas tree, which we cut on a tree farm and my host mom is decorating every year in a different color. (I'm glad that it's red this year and not pink or yellow)
On Christmas Eve my hostfam is usually going to church but they didn't do this year. The funny thing, in Germany we always going to church on Christmas eve but this year my fam didn't go either. I'm very disappointed of you all guys!! ... Just kidding :) Every Christmas day was really fun for me. Unwrapping presents and stockings took my hostfamily altogether two hours and was much paper trash afterwards. I didn't expect to get so many gift and am grateful for that! (I like every single one of it!!) Thank You; thank you, thank you to everybody :D
By the way; the game I bought my hostsisters is "Just Dance 4" and it's so fun. I can remember when we got the third version in Germany for our Playstation and played like six hours all together and could get enough of it... We had to try it immediately, too yesterday and started sweating after the first songs :D
In the afternoon we went to Grandma's house where a bunch of people of their family were meeting all together to open more presents and having turkey for Christmas ( like Thanksgiving :P) We didn't get home very late, because my host parents had to work on the following day again. So in America they have only two days of vacation or sometimes only one day ( my host dad had to work on Christmas eve) I prefer the three day version of Germany, actually...
Oh and they have alot more candy than we do for Christmas AND don't know/ have Christmas markets(!!!) :O
At last I can say: No matter where you celebrate Christmas; as long as you are surrounded by people you love, it's a good Christmas and it brings everybody closer to each other, also if there are thousands of miles between them. I love my exchange year nevertheless I love and miss you all so much at home :3
Merry Christmas to everyone <3