Delightful December

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readMay 2, 2018

Riri INA AFS to NLD ( YP 17–18 )

The day become shorter as the sun rise later and goes down sooner. The chill felt a little bit more freezing as the temperature dropped low. Well, I know for sure Netherlands is always cold. Warm clothes and hot chocolate milk become daily routine. Klinkt gezellig, echt? Yes, winter is coming! Such long-awaited time for a tropical-country born student like me. Winter didn’t give a good impression at first. The weather is crazy. I somehow missed my sunny day. Winter and December are two related things. So now I am going to tell you about my December.

On 5th December every year, Dutch people celebrate Sinterklaas. Usually on that day they give each other presents, they eat together, they gather and the most fun thing is they make poem. This year I celebrate the Sinterklaas on the weekend before the actual day. We prepared a special dinner and ate with full of joy. After that, we played some card games and that is surely great thing to spend time. There comes the important part which is reading the poem and giving presents. Making the poem is hard but reading it together with laughter all over the room paid it off. I also got so many presents from my family. That day I was so happy that I can’t even tell it. Not only because of the dinner tastes good or because of abundant presents. It is because that day, I really feel the pleasure of sharing happiness in the family.

Other than Sinterklaas, there is also something special about the fifth of December. It is my birthday! 2017 supposed to be my so-called-sweet-seventeen. Since I was so young I have actually been waiting for this. I always wonder how am I going to spend that day. Maybe with a huge cake, a room full of music, decorated stage, or lot of friends coming to

My party? My birthday in 2017 is on Tuesday. I didn’t really expect my family to surprise me with something since it is a weekday but eventually they surprised me with a big present in the morning. When I went to school, I also didn’t expect my friends wished me a happy birthday since I never told them when is my birthday but everybody did! At night, my family brought me to a Thai restaurant near our neighborhood. We really had a great dinner. I never imagined that having this simple birthday is so wonderful. Without big cakes, without loud music, without stage, but I think this is the best sweet seventeenth birthday celebration of the sweet seventeenth birthday history.

Twenty days after my birthday, come another special day which is Christmas. This is the first Christmas I ever had in my family. Since I am not a Christian, I never celebrate Christmas back in Indonesia. We decorated the Christmas tree with stars, balls, lights, and a lot more ornaments. My mom wanted to have an International Christmas dinner so we make cook food from all around the world. That was so tasty.

This special moment is not just stop by that, on the last day of December we made a new year party. At night, on the countdown of new year, we go outside and light some fireworks we bought in Germany. I had so much pleasure looking at the pretty firework in the sky. After the countdown was over, then we headed to a place where my mom and dad’s band performed. It was such a nice way to end the year.

December is always a special month for me and this December is unforgettably fantastic. I did many things that I might’ve never done if I am not in exchange year. This winter is incredible. It is cold and freezing. It is slippery everywhere that I almost fell from my bike. It has a crazy wind that pushed me back. It is tough. But it is okay, it will pass. For those of you who are now in your harsh winter, just remember that nothing is more promising than a coming spring.

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Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs