So I haven't had any time to write a post the past few days. I'll write the one for today separately, later tonight. Here's what happened:
I did nothing except lie around sick with a cold all day...then around 5 the extended family came over for an early Christmas dinner. Our appetizer was maultaschen soup, which is my favorite meal (so if you ever want to cook for me, make maultaschen soup and I'll be a very happy camper). We had rouladen with potato dumplings, potatoes, vegetables, rotkohl, and a few other things for the main meal. It was soooooo delicious and at the end we were all stuffed. We then ate dessert, made by my host sister Anne. It was Mascarpone and fruit topped with Spekulatius cookie crumbs and it was seriously good. I made sure to get the recipe. ;) After that we played Dirty Santa and I ended up walking away with stuff Anne brought from my "hometown" Halle (Saale). I was super happy!!
I continued to be a bit sick, but it was better. I ended up hitting up a friend to hang out. We drove to Holland and walked and talked a bit. It was really cool, and you could definitely tell the difference between Germany (at least this region) and Holland. This area is known for building huge houses and having everything a little bit bigger than the rest of Germany, while Holland is known for having everything built tiny. So there was a huge difference. It was kind of cool to see, since we are only 5km from the border and that city is only 5km from the border. If you can do math, that means we are 10km apart, and yet everything is completely different. I then went home and chilled. Later that evening I went with Anne and Rebekka to Schoeppingen, where their other sister Laura lives. We watched a movie from our childhood: a Dracula parody. It was pretty hilarious. We also ate so much cheese. First we had ovencheese (Camembert that you bake in the oven and it becomes melted cheesy goodness) with pieces of baguette. It was kind of like fondue. Then we had crackers with cream cheese mixed with herbs and bell peppers. We also had Hors d'oeuvre-like cheese and pickle on a toothpick platters. Yum!
Christmas Eve is the big day in Germany...not Christmas Day. So we first did nothing....then we dressed up nicely and prepared the food for Raclette, which is super good. So we stuffed ourselves, again. That seems to be a thing here: just eating and drinking through the holiday season. We then opened presents. I honestly wasn't expecting anything except the present my parents sent (Periwinkle PJs with snowflakes, which I am wearing now), but ended up getting a bracelet from my host mom and a manicure set/bejeweled USB/Rafaellos from my host dad. Cool :) I was really happy to get those, and they're perfect. I also gave them each a few little things, which I didn't think were too spectacular but they seemed to really love. After that I went with Anne to her friend's house, where her parents were having a sort of "everyone's invited" after-party. I got to meet a lot of new people, who I actually ended up seeing again last night. It was pretty chill. We stayed from 10 PM to about 3:30 AM, and by that time everyone was ready to go to sleep. But it was still fun.
Christmas Day. We ate lunch (soup) at the grandparents' house with extended family, and around 2, Anne, Rebekka and I went back home. We watched movies in our PJs the whole day. Later I skyped with the family and worked on editing my college essay with Lukas (thank you!!). I then watched Youtube videos and went to sleep.
Stephanus Steinigung is celebrated big in this area. First we had breakfast with everyone because it was also my host dad's birthday. Laura and her boyfriend came, too. I then hopped in the shower and got ready. At 3:15 PM I went to Pauline's house for a "pre-party" where we played a revised version of "Mensch, Ärger Dich Nicht" and ate chips. Simon also stopped by for a drink. We found out he can braid really good. Apparently he learned to braid hair because of his many girl cousins. He then set up a revised version of Kings for us to play and explained it all. He left to go back to his pre-party and we played the game. It was interesting. We all ended up being called Kevin. There's now a Whatsapp group called "Kevin." :) We also ate french fries, and then, at 6:30 PM, rode our bikes to the Stephanus party at the Meile. It was pretty good! Around 10 PM the girls decided to leave, but I ended up going with Simon next door to N-Joy. It was soooo crowded we could barely walk so after a little while we rode our bikes home. He dropped me off and I went right to bed. It had been a pretty fun day, and the sleep was welcomed.
Yeah, so that's been my holiday season this year! All in all, I'd say it was pretty good. Next up: Sylvester, AKA New Years at our friends' house. But first, a little break to catch up on rest and training. :)