University of Haifa International School Student Blog
I am the epitome of Christmas-lover.
I start listening to Christmas music by early October, I watch as many Christmas movies as possible, (unless I am at school), I partake in my family’s tree-decorating tradition (also, started by me) and invite my family/friends over to help decorate the beautiful evergreen the sits in my living room. I love to drink warm, holiday-spice tea while watching the snow fall to the ground. Christmas calls for more quality-family time, and my family, steps aside from their busy schedules, to cook, bake, watch Christmas movies, and wrap presents.
Can you say Crazy Christmas Girl? I think so…
I do not think anyone could have imagined me being away from home and missing/skipping Christmas. Well, this year I kind-of-am…
I get home from Israel on January 8, 2015, which means I missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Honestly, I can deal with missing Thanksgiving (it really is not my favorite holiday), but Christmas is definitely difficult to dealt with (I mean really). Yes, there are holiday festivals in Israel which include Christmas themes, but for me it is not the same. I am unable to see the Rockettes perform, and I cannot see the tree in Rockefeller Center.
“Then, How are You Coping…?”
I try to disregard that it is still winter in Israel and that Christmas is coming in twenty-two days. I cheer myself up by telling myself that there is a beautifully, decorated tree in the downtown area of Haifa. Essentially, I remove any negative thoughts about missing the holidays. It is not worth the time to think about. Instead, I think about how I will see my family on January 8, 2015, and then, we can all partake in our holiday traditions. Upon my return, my family and I will have our own “Christmas,” (about two weeks late..), and that is okay. I forced myself to get over the date of Christmas. I stopped worry about missing Christmas on December, 25, 2015. Rather, I make myself happy by reminding myself that my Christmas is on January 8th.
I have had many friends and relatives tell me that they would not be able to do what I am doing (which does not help the cause…), but sometimes, we need to look at the larger picture. I have been fortunate enough to study abroad in Israel, improve my knowledge of the Arabic language, and meet amazing local people along the way. I would have thrown out an amazing opportunity if I contemplated my decision to go to Israel based on missing Christmas. My choice to go to Israel was the right one. I chose to make a sacrifice, and I felt that this sacrifice was to my benefit. Ultimately, my choice gives me a greater global perspective, more cultural awareness, and further knowledge of the Middle East.
Thus, I advise my readers that some sacrifices, as me missing Christmas at-home, are worthwhile. Yes, I am missing Christmas, rather I am missing December 25, 2014, but that does not surpass the amazing experience that I have had/will have while in Israel.