While all of my fellow Greenhouselers flew back home for Christmas, I decided to stay in England over Christmas. We normally tend to celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December in Germany, but in England, in fact in loads of countries, they celebrate it on the 25th.
I knew that the Christmas season was coming, but sometimes I didn’t feel like it was Christmas at all, because I’m so used to celebrating it with family (being in a different environment), that it seemed a bit like it wasn’t Christmas. But the beautiful Christmas trees, shopping options in grocery stores, carol services and the insane house decorations helped to remind me again that it indeed is the Christmas season.
On the 24th my hostparents and I went to the midnight Carols & Communion service at 11pm. Traditionally it is a midnight service, as Christmas Eve becomes Christmas Day, because it is believed that Jesus was born at midnight. When we arrived back home my hostmom said that they normally tend to open up one present after the midnight service. That’s what we’ve done and I have been given a notebook that says “I like people that smile, while it’s raining”, which I was really happy about, because that quote does describe the way I do living - with positivity.
In the morning we sat together in the living room and opened up the rest of the presents (at least me). The other day my hostmom asked me if I’d rather prefer red or yellow, in which I’ve said yellow. I was a bit suspicious if that was connected to Christmas presents, but I haven’t given it much of a thought afterwards. I’ve been given yellow wellies. I really like them, because of the color, but also for wearing them, because as smart as I thought I would be I brought three pair of white shoes to England, which is a bit inconvenient since it’s mostly raining and getting quite muddy, so really thankful for being given one.
Afterwards we went to the Christmas service in church. I sang with some of the YouthBand and adults and it's been awesome. Later on we had lunch at my hostparents son and his wife’s place (who’s the director of the Greenhouse year) with their family. The food was so good. I had the best vegan Wellington ever, well it was the first one as well, so.. lol I felt so bad for not having finished half of my plate, but I took the leftovers home, so the delicious vegan Wellington doesn’t go to waste. After lunch we went for a walk in order to make some more space for the dessert. While having dessert we played a couple of games.
I really loved that day. It was sometimes awkward, because I’m not part of their family, really, but the way they made me feel welcomed is just beyond love and I’m really thankful to have experienced a different Christmas not just in a different country but with a loving host family as well!