A Western Holiday How-To
Celebrate the Western holidays with us.
Chances are you’ve seen the decorations going up, heard the music and felt the holiday cheer on your campus. From the United States to New Zealand, late November through the New Year is said to be the most festive—and wonderful—time of the year.
The American holiday season kicks off on November 24 with Thanksgiving, a harvest celebration when traditionally loved ones get together over turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie to give thanks for all things good. Join in the festivities by hosting your own 'Friendsgiving' dinner party.
Come December, communities throughout the West observe the religious holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas. Commencing on December 24 with eight days of gift-giving is Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Check the events schedule at your university’s Jewish student association or nearby community center to see what Hanukkah events you might attend. Celebrated on December 25, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and the overnight arrival of a present-toting Santa Claus. Share in the cheer by exchanging gifts with friends and, if you're studying in Europe, by visiting one of its famous Christmas markets.
Remember tis’ also the season of shopping. If you’re lucky enough to be residing in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, ready your credit card for some retail therapy on Boxing Day, one of the largest shopping days of the year when major stores feature huge sales.
Reminding all of us that there’s so much that we share, come December 31st, people around the world will usher in 2017 with New Year celebrations. Don’t be shy: attend a countdown party, watch the fireworks and even steal a kiss at midnight from your special someone.
Of course, even more holidays than we could mention are celebrated this time of year. Due to the diversity of people and celebrations, avoid being specific when extending a holiday greeting this season. Simply say, “Happy holidays!”
All of us at SAF wish you the happiest of holidays!
Making Holiday Plans
On Campus for the Holidays
Ask your resident adviser, front desk or building manager about the procedure for continuing to live on campus during the winter break. For their records, many university housing offices require remaining students to submit a form.
Homestay for the Holidays
It’s likely that you’ll be welcomed to join in the family fun and festivities during the holiday season. As a courtesy, talk to your homestay family members and program coordinator about your holiday plans. Enjoy!
Flying Home for the Holidays
Especially when winter hits the Western Hemisphere, there’s a chance that snow or ice (or both) may cause flight cancellations. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Reach out to your program coordinator for help to reserve a seat on another flight or a room for the night if your flight gets canceled.