Christmas in America
Today is the day that I normally celebrate Christmas in Sweden. I woke up this morning, still not feeling 100%, but definitely better. I cleaned my room a little bit and then I video chatted with my family - wishing them a “God Jul”. We later drove off to church. The church was a different one than we usually attend. Ryan thought the singers were bad but they had put on a good show. The entire church was full, some people could not find a seat! After church, we had pizza at Andrew and Amanda’s (hosts brother and his wife) house. They gave me and Ryan some really nice Christmas gifts, including a pair of American pants!
My first Christmas without my family., not my first Christmas in America though. Me and my family spent the holidays in Florida a couple of years ago.
The day started with me waking up to Christmas music. We had brunch with the family and my host mom’s brother - Terry. I ate pancakes, bacon, fruit and drank juice. After breakfast, we gathered by the Christmas tree to open Christmas gifts. It really warmed my heart that my host family gave me such nice gifts, even though they are not obligated to. My favorite gift was a pair of grey converse. I have been talking about getting a pair of converse ever since I moved here! Ryan, my double placement, made me a T-shirt saying “strong independent woman”. It is kind of an inside joke between us. He also got me a pair of pants from Indonesia. His mom know that I am tall so she brought them to the tailor! Ryan and I bought our host patents hot pads (that was the only thing we were allowed to buy them) and I got my host mom boogie wipes (who knew that was a thing?).
Around 2 o’clock, my host family and I drove to my host father’s parents. They do not live far away from us. At their house, we had dinner with the extended family. We ate Mac & cheese, ham, salad and different casseroles. Later, we opened Christmas gifts. With the family we did Secret Santa, meaning that we got a person in the family to buy a gift for. I bought a gift for my host brother’s wife Amanda. I bought her a sweater and the illustrated version of Harry Potter. Taylor, my host cousin, bought me a contour kit, some makeup and a winter headband. I was so happy. It was kind of funny because Todd forgot to buy a gift for his person! Tiffany ended up without a gift! Grandma and grandpa gave me a gift and and a pair of socks.
After we came home again, Zechariah and Claire drove by my house and stayed for 2 hours. They gave me Christmas gifts and we talked and just hung out. So blessed to have them in my life!