My First Christmas Abroad
I cannot believe how fast three months can go by, yet here I am. I arrived in the United Kingdom in September, and I am preparing for my first Christmas away from home.
Bringing a Christmas tree into a student accommodation was quite the adventure. I was a little heartbroken at first, since I am used to having a natural tree for every Christmas. It doesn’t help that snow is stubbornly refusing to fall, as I am used to extremely cold and snowy holidays. My sadness went away as soon as the tree was fully assembled and decorated; it was just absolutely lovely.
I have chosen to spend the holidays in England because of my English boyfriend. I will be away from my family, that is true, yet I will be with him, which makes up for it. I would say I made the best decision, as we got into a competition of which country has the best Christmas traditions. He was very confused when I left my boots in front of the door after thoroughly cleaning them. I explained that on the night of the 5th of December, Romanians celebrate St Nicholas, which we say is “Santa’s cousin”, because he goes to every single house on that night and leaves a small gift in your shoes.
I had to admit, their traditional food was better than ours. Despite my best efforts, my stuffed cabbage was no match for his roast dinner. He liked my bouef salad, although he could not eat too much as it is an extremely rich dish. Unfortunately, we had to stick primarily to English carols, as he doesn’t speak a single word of Romanian.
The last thing I absolutely love about Christmas is giving and receiving gifts. It is not even about the present itself, it is about the surprise and joy you feel, knowing that someone spent so much time thinking about you and picking this one thing out for you. Those small moments of happiness are the meaning of Christmas.