The last month and a half has been quite a whirlwind and a time of many firsts. This holiday season was my first real “grown up” holiday away from home and it was the first time I had ever spent Christmas overseas. It was a unique experience to be able to share it with so many people who had never even celebrated it before. I decided to dedicate the entire month of December to teaching my middle school students about the traditions and customs of Christmas in America. They greatly enjoyed it and were truly excited to learn so much about this day. My older, university prep students also wanted to learn about Christmas, so I taught them about the Nativity Story and the birth of Christ. It was a bit nerve wracking and completely out of my comfort zone, but I felt incredibly blessed to be able to share this story with them.
On Christmas Eve, we had a Christmas party with the university prep class and we sang Christmas carols and I recited “Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Later that night, my roommate’s friend came to our apartment and took us to the reservoir to light Chinese lanterns and shoot off fireworks. The president and principal of our school also treated all the foreign teachers to a Christmas lunch. It was incredibly humbling that they would take time out of their day to celebrate this meaningful holiday with us. Christmas day concluded with a Christmas party hosted by my friends, Wendy, Jessica, and Adrian. Overall, this Christmas was extremely different and not anything like I am used to, but it was a memorable experience that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.