Since moving out here I’d always planned on staying over the Christmas holidays in the hope of being able to do some travelling around California and possibly other states. Since I’m only going to be in America till June/July, I felt like staying here over the holidays would allow me to make the most of my year abroad, knowing that not much would really have changed at the home by the time I got back. Since my flatmates and I had decided fairly early on that any travelling would take place after New Years, this left me with the strange decision of how to spend Christmas Eve/Day and Boxing Day. Considering my Christmas holidays have been spent almost identically for the last 20 years of my life (go out with friends – spend time with family – eat far too much food: in that order), suddenly having a choice of what to do was somewhat liberating, albeit slightly unerring.
A quick check of the weather forecast informed me that, in true California style, it would be approximately 26 degrees on Christmas Day. I thought about spending my day sunbathing in the park with a few beers and a good/dissertation-related book. Whilst not really being one to ever embrace the whole festive period too willingly, this actually appealed to me. I then considered a philanthropic turn, perhaps applying to work in a soup kitchen over the holidays. Having seen countless homeless persons in the area, many living in the park just over the road from my apartment, I thought this would be a great way to spend my time, as I would actually be able to help those less fortunate than me.
Nevertheless, my American flatmate’s family then generously invited me to spend Christmas at their house and ultimately my polite, British nature wouldn’t allow me to refuse their offer. Thus, I ended up spending the holidays in a scarily similar fashion to that which I’m used to back in England. There were tense family relations, an excess of food, and I even got a few presents to boot. My flatmate’s Mum even took me out for Boxing Day lunch at a British pub – even though Boxing Day isn’t even recognised over here (only Britain and our past colonies acknowledge it according to Wikipedia). So whilst American Christmas Day dinner was great and being welcomed into another family is extremely appreciated, the best part of this Christmas was undoubtedly the fish and chips I got at ‘The Olde Ship’ on Boxing Day.