Christmas is one of the big events in Canada but I am not a big fan of it. When I lived in Hong Kong with my parents, we never celebrated Christmas properly. Instead of having a turkey feast, we had hotpot at night and ice cream afterwards. We would walk on the street and admired the vivid vibe in the city. Until I had my first Christmas in Canada with my home-stay. I fell in love with Christmas immediately and I was so obsessed with the astonishing decoration that people hung around their house. I treated this memorable experience as one of the assets in life. It was not only because of the joyful moments I had but also met a group of people who are worthy to spend time together.
In my first year in Canada, I joined the choir team. During Christmas week, students would either write a letter to their friends or ask the choir team to sing a song for them. It was pretty embarrassing but I still encouraged myself to do it. On the first day, about 10 people requested a song for their friends. I did not know how it would run and so I walked in the classroom with a trembling heart. One of my teammates told the teacher of the name of that student. Then, we started to make a circle around that student and sang a song for her. While we were singing the song to her, others looked at that girl with envy. After the Christmas week, I had a pretty severe sore throat. Still, I found that friendships could be very touching.
Starting from November, people started to decorate their houses and put out the air-inflated Santa Claus in their gardens. My friends also invited me to her house and decorate the Christmas tree with her. When I walked into her house, I saw an enormous pine tree standing in the living room. It was my first time to see a real Christmas because we usually bought a man-made Christmas tree in Hong Kong. She took out two boxes of ornaments and told me to put whatever I wanted on the tree. We started to hand some shiny balls, foxes, snowmen, cardinals and poinsettia around the trees. At last, we both climbed on the ladder and put the huge, glittery star on top of the tree. I had lots of fun that day because of having the opportunity to experience the local preparedness for this big event.
During my year living with a Vietnamese home-stay, I became a fan of the mother-Mrs. Yuan, who was a master chef in the house. Mrs. Yuan was gifted in cooking and she had more than twenty signature dishes. Whenever I came home from school, I would see her cooking in the kitchen, flipping the secret recipes she had in her heart. Although she always treated me as her daughter, I never expected her to invite me to her family party on Christmas. About a week before the party, she started to prepare for it. At first, she bought a huge turkey from the supermarket and soaked it in a tall, silver pot, with the secret sauce inside. Then, she bought even more meat, vegetables, and fruits. That night was the most touching moment I had at Christmas because she embraced me in her house, as part of the family.
During Christmas break, I flew back to Hong Kong. I was looking forward to meeting my parents and also experiencing my first flight by myself. The moment I saw my parents at the arrival area, we hugged each other tightly. After I arrived home, I immediately took a shower and slept in my bed. When I woke up the next morning, my parents and I went for a very traditional breakfast, beef porridge and fried donuts. Then, we took a tramway to travel around the city and taste street food. At night, we invited my uncles and aunties over for hotpot and the countdown. During the night, I told them about how Canadians prepare for Christmas and the fusion meal I had on Christmas Eve. At sharp twelve, fireworks appeared in the sky and we all gathered in the balcony welcoming our fruitful new year.
My first Canadian Christmas is a unique experience to me because I could feel the love from my home-stay and friends. Although it was hard to fully adapt the Christmas in Canada, it is important to step out of our comfort zone and explore other cultures. The other reason for me becoming a fan of Christmas is that I can show my love to our friends and family, and also my appreciation to people who have been helping me throughout the year. This coming December might be your first Christmas in Canada and you could also turn into a fan like me.