Celebrating Christmas in the USA 2007

Celebrating Christmas in a different way…I am a foreign exchange student from Germany and I am staying at Bethel for two semesters. I came to Bethel at the end of August, one week before classes started, and I will go home at the end of May. So, I am here for a lot of celebration days, among them Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and probably the most exciting: Christmas. First I did not really know what to do and where to stay over Christmas break, but Jana Jensen, a Bethel student who plays tennis, invited me and Luna to stay at her house over break. (Luna is the other exchange student from Wuppertal and it was so nice that we could celebrate Christmas together.) Jana’s family lives in Arizona. We drove all the way from Kansas to Arizona and enjoyed the landscape of Texas and New Mexico. During our trip we did not get to see much of Arizona, because it was dark outside when we arrived, but the next day showed that Jana was right when she said “in Arizona the sky is always blue.” Her family welcomed us, and Luna and I felt “at home” immediately. Therefore, we were really looking forward to Christmas. The Christmas celebrations for the Jensen family were different from other years. To meet all the family members, we celebrated Christmas twice. First we got to know aunts, uncles, nephews and grandparents. It was a wonderful Christmas celebration and we enjoyed being with them, including the Secret Santa and a lot of very good food. On the 26th of December we went to Las Vegas to meet Jana’s brother who is living in this exiting city and just welcomed a son a few days ago. For me, the most exiting part of this time of the Christmas celebration was not visiting Las Vegas, but my Christmas present. I did not expect to get a present, so I was very surprised when Jana gave me a box with the tag “Simone” on it. After opening it, I was not able to say a single word, which usually does not happen. I saw brown leather boots lying in the box. I was searching for boots just like that for so long, but I could not find any that I really liked. These boots were just the ones I wanted. While in Las Vegas, we saw very interesting buildings, shops and, of course, casinos. Best of all, I could wear my new boots all around Las Vegas.