Well, we have certainly got some catching up to do!
I will start with Thanksgiving which was my first holiday away from home, let alone in a different country! As a programme we decided to make Thanksgiving dinner ourselves with each of us bringing a dish; this was all fine and dandy until we needed to make Thanksgiving dinner for our group plus an extra 20 UK or international friends we have made over here and who we invited. It was super stressful up to the minute until we finally all sat down. After that, it was one of the more fun Thanksgivings I have had... I did not expect to enjoy it that much since I was not able to be with family or eat my favourite Thanksgiving dishes: my aunt and uncle's dressing and my Grandma's famous Jell-O Mold. But I guess it was just nice to be surrounded by a different kind of family and the food we all made was not half bad either! In fact, I am going to want to incorporate some of the dishes we had, like the amazing sweet potatoes and the delicious pumpkin pie with caramelized pecans on top. Plus, this was the first Thanksgiving I had ever dressed up for; usually my family is pretty chill for Thanksgiving so wearing a dress was different but kind of fun!
Then, after the Thanksgiving meal, a group of us went back to one of our flats to watch Elf and start getting into the Christmas spirit and it was just a really great night and thankfully, not one that made me too homesick :)
Speaking of Christmas spirit, soon after Thanksgiving the Birmingham German Christmas Market opened up and as one of our programme trips we went to Birmingham for that... but first, we went on a tour of Cadbury World (yes, the place that makes amazing chocolate and yes, we got multiple samples of chocolate and yes, that made me very happy!). The tour was only decent but the free chocolate samples were delightful and got me on a good sugar high until about 9:30 pm which was perfect timing to head home after exploring the German Christmas market. The market itself was super cool; there were brats everywhere (I had one for lunch and one for dinner :P) and a ton of neat stands with goods people were selling. I also stopped into the Birmingham art gallery with a friend so that was really fun to check out and I am hoping to go back at some point to explore more of that and the Bullring (the big shopping centre of Birmingham; got a pair of pants on this visit and resisted the urge to buy another flannel shirt... kind of regretting that now ha ha).
The week after returning from Birmingham's Christmas market, Worcester's Christmas Fayre opened and I went a couple times which was pretty fun. It was no where near as big as Birmingham's, as was expected, but it had some really great food stands along a couple streets.
Finally, the semester is actually over. This was a rough one class-wise just because of how homework intensive a couple of them were. I still have a paper to write for my popular cultures class and drawing to finish up for my drawing module. I am here until the 24th of December though, so I have time and a plan to finish those things up in the next week. On the 24th I will be going to a friend's house because she and her family invited me to spend Christmas with them; I am really excited to spend Christmas with a British family... really any family actually ha ha. It will just be nice to have a family surrounding me, a real Christmas meal and a Christmas tree to celebrate around. I will be coming back to Worcester on the 26th because the next day I will need to get all packed to prepare for meeting my friend coming from the States and heading over to Paris for New Year's (!!!!!). After Paris, she and I will go to Spain to visit Madrid and Barcelona which should also be really cool; I've never been to Spain so I'm pumped to see it (hoping she remembers some of her Spanish! :D ) Then I will be back in Worcester from the 8th of January to the 17th when I am off to Istanbul, Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia/Herzegovina , and Dubrovnik, Croatia until the 28th. It should be an amazing winter break and I am so pumped for all of it!!