“I’ll be Home For Christmas….”

When I decided to switch to Study Abroad in the Fall, I was so excited, not only for the fact that I was now going with two of my best friends instead of complete strangers, but because Fall was my favorite time of year and I was getting to spend it in one of my favorite places in the world! I love all the spooky costumes and paraphernalia you see around Halloween, the Fall colors and Pumpkin Spice Lattes everywhere, the never-ending list of things you can make with a pumpkin that my mom and I use every year. Best of all, I love the anticipation of Christmas. I love seeing Christmas decorations everywhere and listening to Christmas music, and seeing all the twinkling lights, it just fills me with joy! I know for most Americans you’re supposed to wait until after Thanksgiving for all that, but we don’t have Thanksgiving here! Why wait??
So all of my excitement for this was mounting, but what I didn’t realize was that experiencing it in a different country would make me very, VERY homesick. I haven’t gotten to bake pumpkin anything because I’ve been busy with classes and haven’t had the right ingredients, and every time I see anything Christmas I get excited for the season then cry.
This morning in our Study Abroad group’s weekly devo we began celebrating advent which of course means Christmas music! I was so happy to start celebrating, but as soon as the music began to play I nearly started crying. All I wanted was to be at home with my family sitting in front of our Christmas tree drinking coffee and eggnog together. Now homesickness among this group has been happening since about mid-semester, for some of us sooner, but nothing makes me anticipate going home more than Christmas. Many people think Christmas has become too commercialized and less about Jesus, but I feel like to me, no matter what setting I am in, Christmas will always be about my family and the love we have through Christ for each other. All of the decorations, from our little village, to our giant Christmas tree to our nativity make me so happy and feel so loved. I know it’s only mid-November and even if I was home these wouldn’t be up yet, but I still miss it! I wish I could come home for Thanksgiving to see my family, and as excited as I am to still see Wales and Germany before I go home, I cannot wait to be back in America with my family putting up the Christmas decorations. I can’t wait for Christmas music in the morning, coffee by the Christmas tree and snuggles with my dog. It has been a wonderful semester abroad, and I wouldn’t change a single moment of it, but no matter how far away from Texas I am, home will always be with all my family.

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