Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Christmas is a time you spend with loved ones. Many of us have special memories and stories attached to this holiday. At HCICU, we have a time of writers with varied experiences and we wanted to share a couple of our unique, heartwarming Christmas stories to get you in the holiday mood!

A 36 Hour Christmas - Sarah

When I decided to move to Japan to attend ICU, I knew that it would mean that I would only be able to see my family twice a year at best. Christmas is a time to celebrate family, so I was adamant about returning home to Texas for winter break. 

In my sophomore year, my flight home was around noon on Christmas day. By the time my 14 hour flight had departed Tokyo, I was already 12 hours deep into Christmas, but the dim lights and the quiet of the plane didn’t feel very Christmas-y at all. 

I was exhausted when I landed in Dallas, but seeing my whole family at the exit filled me with joy. They had waited to start the Christmas festivities until I was home and I was overwhelmed when I saw our house decorated in red and green and gold. We spend the rest of Christmas day gathered as a family, reunited at last. 

A Moment of Joy on Christmas - Yukiko

When I was still in high school I was a member of a strict Kendo club. We rarely had breaks and even on Christmas we had a training camp with lots of high school students from around Japan. Of course, everyone recognized that it was Christmas but at the same time, we were too busy to think about it. After our training finished, our members’ parents waited to serve us dinner as usual. But we realized the menu was a little bit christmas-y and there was a whole cake prepared for us.

During practice we had all forgotten that it was Christmas but at the dinner we could spend a little bit of Christmas time before going back to reality of practicing kendo again. The practice was the same as usual, but everyone had a smile on their face that day.

A Warm Summer Christmas - Utako 

My first Christmas in Brazil was full of surprises. I thought the people there wouldn’t celebrate Christmas like we do; I thought Christmas was a winter holiday and that it wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t cold. But I was very wrong. On the 24th of December, it was about 25 degrees celsius in São Paulo. There were Christmas lights all around the streets, shops full of huge trees, lights, decorations, Christmas candies and music, just like anywhere else in the world. I, as a thirteen year old kid was pretty upset that I couldn’t have the normal chilly and cozy Christmas I’ve always had. But when I saw the short sleeved Santa costumes at the very front of a shop, I couldn’t help but smile. Brazilian Christmases (and everywhere else on the southern hemisphere) are different, but are just as jolly and cozy as the Christmases we know. Or maybe even better.

A Surprise Letter From Santa Claus - Jun

Most of us believed in Santa Claus when we were little and I was one of the strongest believers of Santa Claus’ existence. That was because I received a letter from Santa Claus when I was eight years old! Like every christmas eve, I left a letter to Santa by my pillow and went to bed excited about waking up the next day. When I woke up, my letter to Santa was gone, and instead, a different letter was lying beside me. The letter was a small rolled up paper tied with a red ribbon. It was a letter from Santa with his signature on it!

In the letter, Santa wrote about how he was proud of me for being a good girl that year, and that he was more than happy to give me a Christmas gift (I wished for an iPod that year). I was so happy to receive the letter because it felt like I had gained a stronger connection with Santa Claus. I bragged about it to all my friends at school, and even showed the letter to my friends who didn’t believe in Santa to prove that Santa actually exists. I still sometimes look back at this moment, and this memory always brings back pure cheerful feelings inside of me.

A Snack for Santa’s Reindeer - Anna

When I was in elementary school, leaving a plate of cookies for Santa before I went to bed was tradition. But there was one year when I left something for his reindeer as well. My grandparents lived in a different state, and one year they flew over to spend Christmas with my family. I remember my grandma telling me there was something special she wanted to show me. “This is a recipe for reindeer food,” she said as she showed me a piece of paper. “We can make it the night before Santa comes and leave it outside for his reindeer.” The “reindeer food” consisted of oatmeal and red and green glitter so that they would be able to find the food in the dark—at the time I didn’t think too much about feeding animals glitter being a potential health hazard. 

That Christmas Eve it was even harder to fall asleep than usual. It was always exciting to see if Santa had drunk his milk and eaten his cookies, but this year there was an additional surprise. The next morning, after my brother and I had made sure that Santa had eaten at least one cookie, we ran outside to see if his reindeer had eaten the food we’d left. I was ecstatic upon seeing that there was a nose print in the center of each of the three pots we had prepared. I have no idea what those “prints” really were—probably my grandma’s fingerprints—but it was extremely realistic for my 7-year-old eyes!

Sarah Ishikawa is currently serving as Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at ICU Japan. She is a senior studying English and American literature. On her days off you'll probably find her at a museum, coffee shop, or just at home getting things done.
Yukiko Takei

ICU Japan '22

Hi, I am Yukiko and am currently studying at the University of Gothenburg as exchange student remotely, majoring in public policy.
Jun Fujii

ICU Japan '22

Hi! I'm Jun Fujii, studying anthropology at International Christian University. I love eating, dancing, and walking outside in the sun!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️