Hussein is an international student from Malaysia studying Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University. He shares why he appreciates the beauty of this season, even though he has never celebrated Christmas. Find out how Hussein found decorating a tree and cooking a Christmas dinner below.
One of the best parts about international living is being able to exchange cultures and celebrations. As December progresses, we step into the time of Christmas festivities with bright lights, colourful decorations and hot chocolate. As someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas because I come from Malaysia and grew up in Saudi Arabia where Christmas is not a common celebration, I find great pleasure and appreciate the beauty of this season. This year I was privileged to get a taste of what that life is like when decorating a tree and making a Christmas dinner.
Step 1: Buy a Christmas tree
Christmas decorations have always been a pretty sight to see but I didn’t realise how much fun it would be to decorate your own space. My flatmate and I were in our local supermarket going through the Christmas aisles and decided to buy a small £12 fake pine tree. I felt excited. We took our time trying to piece together how the tree would look. After leaning towards silver-toned decor, we grabbed silver tinsel, silver baubles, a silver star tree topper and just for the fun of it, I picked a tiny light up snowman figurine.
Step 2: Decorate the Christmas tree
We walked back to our flat and we quickly started decorating. My flatmate popped some Christmas tunes on; songs popular enough that even someone who doesn’t usually celebrate was able to sing along. We propped the tiny tree up on a table and started to expand the branches and give it it’s look. We added the tinsel, baubles and decorated other parts of our kitchen as well. As an added effort, I took four little baubles and customised it to each of my flatmate’s initials. I guess for a few hours we both were just rocking around the Christmas tree.
Step 3: Create your Christmas menu and buy the ingredients
Doing a Christmas dinner was an entirely interesting process. I had conversations with my flatmates and did some research on what makes a Christmas dinner. We decided to have Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, vegetables, mash, gravy, roast chicken, pigs in blankets and apple pie. I had an inkling of what a Christmas dinner consisted of, but I never knew what the staple dishes were. After doing a quick grocery run to get all the ingredients on a Friday afternoon, we were all ready to go.
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