I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year as well. 2019 was one of the best years of my life, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to build on it in 2020.
Christmas with my host family was a great experience! I spent a lot of time helping my host father put up the very large Christmas tree, and also got to decorate it with some ornaments that I had brought with me to Germany. Here, Christmas is actually lasts two days: we opened up presents on Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, and then celebrated on the 25th with a family dinner. Although the 26th is still Christmas, it is a more relaxed day, and we spent the day playing games and watching TV.
A couple of days later, we hit the road for Italy! This was also definitely one of the coolest experiences that I've had this year. I got to go sledding with my host family, eat a lot of really good pizza, and we went to a small little concert to ring in the New Year. Sledding was actually easier than I expected it to be, and the thrill of going really fast down a hill was very cool as well. The only difficult thing about the trip was the temperature; it was below freezing almost the entire time! For someone who has lived almost their entire life in the southern United States, this was something that took a lot of adjusting to, to say the least! However, I'm happy to report that I made it back to Germany safely, where it's thankfully at least a little bit above freezing! I'll take every degree I can get.
In a couple of weeks, I will be heading to our mid-year seminar, where I will get to reflect on the first half of the year with my other CBYXers and get to hang out with my best friends in the world again. I'm really excited! Bis bald!