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Published: January 7th 2013
Fortunately, after putting all the pills in my body and resting for the day I felt much better on the 24th
. I was relieved, because I really didn’t want to miss the good Christmas food I was expecting. The day started out pretty normal: I watched some kids’ movies with Santiago and was forced to 2 Justin Bieber songs and 1 Selena Gomez song for 2 hours straight, because my host sister had put it on repeat on her laptop before leaving the house and no one else seemed to be bothered by it. After 2 hours, however, I couldn’t take it anymore and turned it off. Mechi asked who turned off the music, she was enjoying it, and I told her it was me, because enough is enough! After just relaxing for the rest of the day, I was curious what would happen at night.
In the evening we were watching “Toy Story” while the mom’s were cutting up different stuff. It got late and Nano, Alcira’s son got out a huge dried pig leg and started cutting it up. It was delicious and something very special, but while standing in the kitchen I realized our dinner would be
pizza. Pizza?! On Christmas Eve?! I wanted to cry. Suddenly I wasn’t that sad anymore about being sick, because all I was missing out on was pizza. Also no one was dressed nicely but I managed to ignore that fact. I also was willing to ignore that the Christmas tree was fake and the whole decoration very kitsch compared to what we have at home. It was all topped by an inflatable Santa Claus with snow falling over him. I even ignored the fact that I could walk outside with just my T-Shirt on. At 11 pm dinner was served: Pizza and Coca-Cola. At that moment I realized that next year there is no way of me being away for Christmas. I need some tradition, something to make this evening nice, something special. Not pizza! I mean it was good, but how can you eat that on a night so special?
Oh well, next thing you know, midnight was there which meant everyone would get his presents. First we all stood in a circle holding our hands and praying. Then everyone got a drink (I stuck to water) and my host mom changed into “Mama Noel” and my host sister into her helping elf. They then started distributing presents. The gifts were no surprise, they were all clothes Nano had brought from Spain and most of the family members had tried them on before to make sure they fit. Every person who went up to pick up his/her present took a picture with Mama Noel and it took 2 hours to distribute all the presents as we were some 20 people in the living room. My host uncle even took a nap after getting his presents and got up again when everything was over. The music we listened to in the background were no Christmas carols, but the latest charts, club hits and, not to be missed, “Gangnam Style”. I got earrings and a necklace from my host family. When it was my turn to give my presents everyone was tired, so they didn’t even want to try it (I got them a basket with German candies and for the closest family a gift card for a day with German food where I would make a breakfast, lunch and dinner). Half asleep some tried the Haribo and Mamba, but most just said “tomorrow” and started leaving to not fall asleep on the couch.
Although it was so different from the Christmas I know and many, to me essential, elements were missing, it was a nice event. The focus was completely on being with the family. The food was there to fill stomachs, the gifts to make the others happy and not jealous of each other’s stuff. I enjoyed watching them being together and enjoying all being together again, as this really was the only thing that counted. It was great to experience it, but I will never again drink Coca-Cola and eat pizza on Christmas Eve.
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