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December Student Blog

Merry Christmas! Schools are closing for the holiday, trees are decorated, stockings are hung, gifts are being wrapped, and families will be coming together for a celebratory dinner. If it’s your first American Christmas, we hope you enjoy many fun activities and traditions over the next several weeks.  

In our house, a favorite Christmas tradition is attending Christmas Eve service at church on December 24. Growing up, the church I attended always had a candlelight service for Christmas Eve. The church would be decorated with lights and Christmas trees, and we would sing Christmas carols. My siblings and I would eagerly wait for the last song, when the lights went down, and finally, we could light our candles, passing the flame down the aisle while singing, “Oh Holy Night.” While we were fascinated watching the flames and trying not to burn ourselves with the dripping wax, I’m pretty sure our parents were nervously watching to make sure all of us kids didn’t let the flames touch the pews! 

After the church service, we would go home and open the gifts inside our Christmas stockings hanging over the fireplace. Our family always liked to put practical gifts into the stockings…like lotion, a book, or even deodorant! We always knew the last item at the bottom of the stocking would be an orange. It was such a joyful time being together as a family, appreciating the small things of life.  

Now that I’m grown and have a family of my own, we are continuing the same Christmas Eve tradition, going to our Christmas church service and opening our Christmas stocking presents. This year, on December 24, our family of 4 will have one more join us as we are hosting a student, too. We are excited to share our family’s traditions with her, especially the joy of opening those little presents that we hide in our Christmas stockings. 

My prayer for you in this Christmas season is that you find joy in the small things and build memories that you will carry with you like I did with my family. Jesus came to earth to bring us eternal joy so this Christmas, may you experience the joy of the Christ-mas season with your host family. 

Students, reach out to me on WeChat to tell me what you are most looking forward to this Christmas!