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      What do you get when you cross hundreds of DIS students, hundreds more Danes, and a whole lot of food?  DIS Christmas lunch.  This annual festivity invites all the DIS families, students, and host families, roommates, or kollegium buddies to join in an afternoon of food and fun.
Sadly, my host family could not make it as they were on vacation in northern Zealand for the weekend.  It probably would have bugged me a lot more if I did not know anyone going, but with Peter, Lauren, Kaityln, Emily, Paula, and Ava all there i was still surrounded by family.  I figured I would just find one of their tables and join their families. I was a little overwhelmed when I walked in…I didn’t realize how many people were going to be there.  DIS had rented out a huge space and lined up tables end-to-end to accommodate as many people as possible.  According to the organizers there were 600 people meant to show and only 500 seats!  With the tables arranged as such it would be impossible to have a table or small section set off for a family/group.
     I was not even worried about being able to sit with them. Lauren texted me 5 minutes before I got there to tell me they saved me a seat.  I had not even asked them to save a seat nor had I actually said I was going to sit with them, but they all knew my host family was not coming.  Wow.  That is how you know they are the real friends, the kind you brag about: they have your back without thought.   It was simple, yet so meaningful.  I love them all.

The Christma slunch was an excellent festivity filled with wondrous food, warm people, and tons of entertainment.  We pigged-out on traditional Danish goodness: Frikadeller (Danish meatballs), Risalamande (rice pudding), Flæskesteg (roast pork with crispy skin), Herring, and rye bread, as well as some not-so-traditional dishes like a cheese and spinach casserole(made especially for Lauren, of course). To top it all off we had chewy cookies, delicious brownies, and even some zucchini bread.  Mmm good!  I definitely ate too much, especially after a weekend of food with Denitsa, but it was so worth it!

     Our 10 kroner gifts were put in a pile on our table and we played a simple die game which allowed us to choose gifts and then steal them from one another in the later rounds.  It got quite intense, but I ended with two gifts.  The first was quite cute: a box of Santa-faced mini clothespins.  Everybody adored them and I had plenty, so I shared them with the table.  Still, even these cutesy holiday pins couldn’t compare to the glory of my second gift: aback, fuzzy, bling-adorned hair scrunchy. Yeah, that’s right.  I got a hair scrunchy.

     We finished the afternoon with some music.  First we sang classic American holidays songs like “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and the“12 Days of Christmas.”  A catchy Danish song followed, and the organized songs finished with a lively tromp around the auditorium train-style to an equally upbeat Danish Christmas song.  Apparently this is normal.  Finally, as everybody prepared to leave, I caught Emily’s eye and headed over for a dance. I invited everyone at my table but had no takers, and since Emily had equally terrible luck she was hesitant to accept my request.  Still, my tenacity charmed her and we took to the floor for a slow dance.  We slowly turned while hundreds of eyes tore into our bodies.  But we did not care, and one daring couple(Paula’s father and host sister) joined us on the floor.  It may not have started a trend, but it sure felt good.
      The Danish Christmas lunch was a success, and I HIGHLY recommend anyone studying here in the coming years to attend this wonderful festivity.
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