Most international students go home during Christmas, but I decided to stay in Canada, to experience what Christmas feels like.
I stay in a homestay because I can't rent my own place yet. My host family is a recently married young couple. They are Jennifer from Canton and Kyle from Canada. I picked this place mainly due to its proximity to my school, but my host family is what makes me love this place. We have a very similar lifestyle, and I never feel restricted.
At the start of December, Kyle's brother Ralphie returned to Canada, to surprise their parents. He even slept over at our place once when he just got off the plane. Since I wasn't going home, I went to their parents' house too.
Kyle is from North Bay, a city in northeastern Ontario. The winter temperatures there are usually around -20℃, I am not used to the cold, but I went there anyway. There were forests covered in snows everywhere, which makes me feel like playing Until Dawn.
Christmas is a festival for family reunions, there were a dozen people in the house, but it doesn't feel cramped at all since the house was like three times bigger than our place. We started a bonfire in the backyard, and we were sitting around and chatting while getting warm and comfortable.
In the last couple of days, we did things that I always dreamed but unable to do. We played games, like Super Smash Bros, Super Mario Party and Mario Kart. I bought these games a long time ago but had no friends to play them with me. These are the best days of my life.
For the first time since a while, I went to bed before midnight and had breakfast on time, so that I can spend more time with everyone. I never felt so comfortable seeing strangers, it was unbelievable even to me.
This Christmas made me realized that the only thing missing in my life is people. As long as I have nice people around, my problems would go away by themselves. For the first time, I am hoping to have an active social life. Although I am still struggling with social anxiety, at least I can understand how good it is to have friends around.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!