I can’t believe its Christmas already – time is going so fast! Feels like a month ago since I came to Sheffield, and so far, it has been a journey with God, Form family and people I’m living with. We have become a Form family that is telling jokes over lunch and standing together in difficult times. For me Christmas is about family. Time for the family to be together, without stress. Many of us are going back home this week. I’m going back to Norway to celebrate Christmas as my family does. I think this year Christmas will be a little different. This is the first year I have lived away from my family and also I have learned a lot in the last couple of months that I will take home with me.
As a team we started the preparations for Christmas by decorating the Christmas tree in church. It was funny to see who took the lead and who was happy to just help out. With Christmas music playing, a Christmas tree to decorate, and hot chocolate – advent was definitely here. Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus to come. We started advent by learning about “The art of celebration” in one of the leaders’ home. The house was decorated for Christmas and I got a lot out of the teaching that day. Advent and Christmas look different for everyone and it is important to understand that. This day we were challenged to think about what is important for you. For some of us this is the first advent without our family. That makes you think, what do I want to do? Which traditions do I want to take with me and what traditions do I want to start?
This time of year is a good opportunity to think about giving love to people around you. It can be a smile, an encouraging word, a hug, a cup of tea or doing something together. I wanted to bless the family I’m living with. The family already has their own traditions and it has been good to see what they are doing during advent. I wanted to spend a couple of hours to be creative together. The kids where decorating a gingerbread house and made hot chocolate reindeers they could give to friends or other people they wanted to bless during advent. It was good to spend some time as family and just enjoy ourselves.
There are so many other opportunities in life to celebrate; Christmas is only one of them. I used to be a person that could do something special on an ordinary day if I wanted to – now I want to be that person again. I’m going to do something special to celebrate on the day I got my driver’s license, on the day I got baptized and also to remember a family member that is not with us anymore. Every day is worth celebrating because I have Jesus in my life. I know it can be tough, but try to find something you can be thankful for in this season. I’m thankful for Form so far, and looking forward to coming back in January, but most of all I’m thankful that I can go home for Christmas.
Written by Veronika Aaserod