La Noel à l'étranger

Esinam G. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from The Madeira School in Virginia.

The cheer and excitement of the end of year festivities are officially over and reality is setting in again. With the new year comes the time to reevaluate our goals, reaffirm our commitment to learning French and truly focus on how to use our remaining time wisely. The holidays were spent in a variety of different ways for each student. Some of us explored the places nearby and traveled around Europe, and some stayed in Rennes and spent time learning about their host families’ traditions.

This was the first year I didn’t quite feel the holiday spirit and December was filled to the brim with assessments and the longing for home. My friends and I all had the same sentiments so we went to Christmas markets, the ferris wheel and the famous fête foraine with rides and carnival games with hopes of getting into the Christmas spirit.

We decided to do a little Secret Santa among ourselves and hosted a sleepover for the big gift reveal. We went about planning and critically thinking about what to get our Secret Santa’s while asking each other for help and almost revealing our respective Secret Santas.

The day to exchange gifts finally arrived and we all gathered at my friends house in the afternoon. It was a cold and rainy day so we sat under blankets drinking tea and eating snacks by the beautifully decorated tree. Each gift exchange was like a presentation where each person gave a heartwarming speech about their person and then handed out the gifts. It was an afternoon filled with endless laughter, tears of joy and true holiday cheer.

Although not necessarily typical, this holiday was still one to remember and one filled with love and joy. Holidays spent away from family can be hard but with the right people around, you can always find familiarities of home to carry you through.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA France