Thanksgiving and Christmas in the USA

Authored By:

Phillip G.

Thanksgiving began for me even before the actual Thanksgivingbreak, when we talked about it at school and discussed what we were thankful for. My curiosity grew when I found out that I would be spending Thanksgiving with my host father's parents, together with the whole family.

On Thanksgiving Day, we all ate Thanksgiving Meal together with one that far exceeded my expectations. The table was piled high with not only the traditional turkey and vegetables, but also delicious side dishes like stuffing. But the highlight came with dessert - a veritable feast of cakes. From pumpkin pie and chocolate cake to lemon and apple pie, there was something for everyone. We ate until we were full and enjoyed the family atmosphere.

After the meal, we played lots of games, in smaller groups but also all together. Laughter and joy filled the room, it was a wonderful day, which we ended by watching football together.

As soon as Thanksgiving had ended, the preparations for Christmas began. Traditionally, we cut our own Christmas tree in the forest the day after Thanksgiving. I noticed that the Christmas spirit starts much earlier here than in Germany. The streets were already decorated with lights and almost every house shone in pre-Christmas splendor, even in November.

We played Secret Santa among the siblings a week before Christmas. Everyone drew a name and had a budget to get a present for that person. The anticipation of who you were going to give a present to and what you were going to get yourself spread an extra dose of magic in the air, every time you came around the corner everything that could give you away was quickly hidden.

We spent Christmas Eve with the family, doing the White Elephant Gift Exchange, where everyone drew a number and number one got to choose a present. Then number two had the choice of either stealing number one's present or choosing a new one. This made for many funny and surprising moments. After that, we played other games.

The actual presents were then given on the morning of December 25, with everyone eagerly waiting on the second floor to finally be allowed to go downstairs. Unfortunately, the relaxed atmosphere came to an end on December 26, as many people wanted to exchange or return things.

These days were full of flavors, surprises and community - an unforgettable chapter of my time as an exchange student in the USA.