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It’s Christmas morning and we are sitting around the table eating home-made bread with scrumptious toppings of cheese, butter, jam, Nutella, peanut butter, and honey.  Coconut coffee and almond tea fill the air with their sweet aroma.  Behind me the fire is softly spreading warmth through my Christmas sweater, complimenting the warmth my family sends floating into the air between us.  Light glistens off the beautiful assortment of presents on the counter, each sealed tightly with an impressive bow.  By now I am use to absent-mindedly listening to their chatting, and I don’t even notice when Trine brings the conversation back into English.  It takes me a minute to realize the transition and I can’t remember the topic, but what brings me back into focus is “for our oldest son.” It takes me a minute to realize she is speaking of me.
Okay, I lied.  The truth is it’s is not really Christmas morning, and I am definitely not wearing my Christmas sweater I don’t even own one of these).  It’s Sunday the 11th,exactly two weeks before I will be celebrating Christmas at home with my mom.  Andreas’ parents have come over fora cozy breakfast because they will be away for the holidays this year.  I awoke as they opened the door just outside my bedroom, and I cursed myself for not having awoken in time to shower.  Typical. I debated ditching the PJ’s in favor of real clothing so I would seemless like a bum, and in the end I compromised with jeans and my pj top.  I don’t know why I cared, they’re just my grandparents.

As if being directly referred to as part of the family hadn’t already made my day, my spirits were further lifted when Rasmus and Kit presented me with a present.  I had already assumed I would be receiving something from my host family, but from my host-grandparents? The thought had never even crossed my mind.  As I unsuccessfully attempted to unwrap my present without ripping the bow I was in a state of elated shock.  I guess the thought of receiving a gift hadn’t really sunk in yet, but when I finally removed the book I could feel a huge grin spreading across my face.  In my hands were pages upon pages of beautiful aerial photos of Denmark.  It was the perfect gift: simple, thoughtful, and forever a reminder of my new home.

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