Having a holly and jolly first christmas

Christmas Lights on the streets of Columbia, South Carolina. Houses were lit up to spread Christmas cheer.

Christmas is a holiday often spent with family and loved ones, and for students studying abroad like me, deciding what to do over Christmas can be quite a concern. I am an international student from Nepal and my first Christmas this year was amazing. I was eagerly waiting for Christmas; I got to experience the proper American Christmas I have always watched in the movies and read about it.

Traveling home to close relatives and friends is a choice that an international student has who doesn’t have a plan for Christmas, and the same goes for me too. I went to my uncle’s home in South Carolina. I hadn’t seen my uncle and my aunt in 6 years and had not even met my two baby cousins, which is why I was excited about this trip.

I flew down there and I was really happy to finally meet my cousins. My uncle had Christmas all planned for the family. We went to Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, on a road trip. I enjoyed every moment with my family on that trip. We arrived there on Christmas Eve and went directly to see the night lighting. They all were beautiful and to be there with my family made it more enjoyable.

On Christmas Day, my cousin and I built a gingerbread house and it turned out pretty good. My cousin, brothers and I got plenty of Christmas gifts: it was the first time that I had gotten gifts on Christmas. We went to see some Christmas caroling, which was happening downtown in the evening. I enjoyed the band a lot, and my brothers were dancing to the songs which was quite adorable. We then returned to the house and had a good family dinner. I stayed longer with my uncle because my little cousin’s birthday was on the 28th. He was extremely happy that I was there with him on his birthday. Even though it was my first time meeting with my cousins, we were quite close to each other.

Every holiday’s motive is to be reunited with family, friends and to be thankful for what we have. Christmas is like any other festival where we meet with family and friends whom we haven’t seen in a long time and celebrate. I was away from my family for the holidays, but I got a chance to celebrate with another family. That’s what holidays are for, I guess.

Edited by Alyssa Storm and Ellie Walker