The month of December and the start of Christmas season made Magdalena and myself a little nervous about feeling alone and missing our homes. This will be the first time for both of us celebrating Christmas not at home. At home, this time of the year is always a significant occasion, as you spend more time with your family and friends, engage in festive activities such as baking cookies, decorating the home, and visiting the Christmas market. You also experience the first snowfall, and you create a cozy atmosphere inside, despite the frigid weather outside. But we are fortunate to be at Hope House, as the girls are also celebrating Christmas, and we are excited to see what it will be like.
But not only Christmas but also the whole advent time before we are missing out in Germany. That is why we thought of bringing some traditions from home to Hope House. The first one is the tradition of having a Christmas calendar. Every day in the month of December before the 24th, another girl gets to open a little package to increase the anticipation of Christmas. And another good feature that comes with it: coming out of bed in the morning gets a lot easier with a potentially getting a gift ;)
To Magdalena's and my surprise we already set the Christmas tree up on the first of December. Decorating the tree was a very fun and bonding activity to do with the girls. They also built a crib made of cardboard and banana leaves, which is now in front of the tree. With all these features Hope House looks now very christmassy.
But there was still one more thing missing, getting in the Christmas mood: baking cookies while listening to Christmas songs. For this activity, another volunteer who we met before and another girl who does a one-month internship at Hope House joined us on Saturday. Before lunch, we all prepared the dough together, as the dough had to rest in the fridge some time anyway. After that, the fun part started: cutting out the cookies. After some complications with the oven, we also started baking them. And I can tell it looked like a cookie company, cutting the cookies, placing them in the oven, baking them and putting them in boxes. We finished in the afternoon, happy and exhausted at the same time. As we were running out of time at Saturday our plan is it to finish the cookies fully by decorating them with chocolate and sprinkles at an other time.
For next week we planned to bake “chocolate crossies” and to draw some little pictures with Christmas theme with the girls. We had the idea that the girls could use these little drawings as little Christmas. In this way the girls can thank the many sponsors who are increasingly coming in December for their visits and donations. Every time during a visit, each sponsor gets a cookie bag and one of the self-made cards with a Christmas motif.