The month of December is special in many ways – the first snow of the year, the winter break that we eagerly look forward to and of course the lights and celebration of Christmas right before we welcome the new year. How the month is spent is interesting, since it most of what we do is plan the days, decorate our space, and binge-eat sweets. I always find it satisfying how the celebration in different countries spreads positivity around the world, with its grand as well as simple joys. Like many new international students, this year marks my first Christmas in a foreign country and with what I have experienced growing up I can say Christmas does make me feel good about everything around.
As a kid, I always received gifts from Santa, our sneaky parents of course, believing that I can get anything I want for Christmas and my wishes were always fulfilled. Even though we did not celebrate it like other countries did, the idea of getting presents that magically appeared on Christmas Eve gave me hope and increased my level of excitement. I would take part in Christmas plays in elementary school and just experience how wonderful the whole get-up and set-up would turn out to be. But since my family never celebrated it, I lost touch with things usually done for Christmas, and instead started attending parties and events that would just come around the time of the festival. But the craze got back when I started my professional life and we indulged ourselves in sweets and biscuits that were specially made during Christmas. I even got to taste the famous mulled wine (Glühwein/ Gluehwein) from Germany that was a blessing in the cold winter nights. Following the delicious cookies and sweets, were the international traditions of having ‘ugly sweater’ days and receiving ‘Secret Santa’ gifts. The interesting part of celebrating all these things was the nostalgic trip it took me through, where the gifts on Christmas Eve would make me jump with joy every year.
Today, I am counting the few days left for that time of the year, for reasons that are not just happiness of completing the semester but also that it will bring us closer to the new year. And this year again I am hoping and wishing for the next year to bring us only happiness and love. But until that happens, let us get our spirits high and be grateful for this year to have come to an end.
Happy Holidays everyone!