Christmas in a host family: a unique cultural exchange experience

Christmas is just around the corner. The idea of being far away from home might make you feel a little bit nostalgic but at the same time you are probably very excited about experiencing all the traditions of your host country, which will surely make this day even more special.

Christmas in your hostfamily

Christmas is celebrated all over the world and every country has its own customs and traditions: gift-giving, stocking-stuffing, wreaths, caroling, Christmas trees, the nativity scene and Santa Claus, just to mention some of the most popular. Every family has its own way to celebrate this holiday season. For some families, Christmas traditions may include someone in the family, an uncle, for example, dressing up as Santa Claus. Other Christmas traditions include counting down the days until Christmas with a movie marathon to get all the family into the festive spirit, having their own home-made Christmas decorations or wearing some matching Christmas jumpers.

Christmas as a cultural exchange

Thanks to your host family, you will be able to discover new Christmas traditions which you can take home, giving you the chance to share some wonderful moments all together and form a solid bond. As well as this, you could also talk about Christmas celebrations in your home country and in your family, and bring some of your own traditions into their family life. It will be a fantastic opportunity for your host family to get to know you better, as they can get involved in new activities and learn about new ways to celebrate this festivity. It gives both the chance to experience part of another culture on a more personal level, which is certainly different from reading or watching a documentary about Christmas in different countries.

Christmas as a time of celebrating and sharing 

Christmas is all about giving and sharing with those around us. It is undoubtedly an excellent occasion for intercultural exchange and understanding. Talking about your own traditions and celebrating them in a different cultural environment will help you to appreciate them even more and stay connected to your cultural roots. By sharing our cultural identity and making others aware of the cultural richness and diversity of the world, we also offer an enriching learning experience that might not occur otherwise. 

The magic of Christmas extends beyond traditions

Christmas traditions may differ around the world, but remember that whether you're setting up the nativity scene in Italy, sipping some delicious Glühwein in Germany while taking a stroll through a Christmas market or making your first delicious bûche de Noël in France, you are experiencing and sharing in the wonder and magic of the holiday season and creating unforgettable memories.

Did you spend your Christmas holiday with your host family? Did you learn anything interesting about your host country? Get in touch and tell us about your special Christmas with your host family.

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