Corinna’s Christmas Away from Home . . .

         I hope y`all enjoyed your Christmas, maybe you even had a white Christmas, we 
I am glad that I survived Christmas shopping at the mall. My host family 
and I sang German Christmas songs with karaoke: Stille Nacht, Fröhliche 
Weihnacht überall, Lasst Uns Froh und Munter Sein and O Tannenbaum. Especially 
my host father had fun singing the lyrics, he can speak a bit of German since 
he has studied in Germany. We also baked Vanillekipferl and listened to the best 
fitting song “In der Weihnachtsbäckerei”.
	 A few days ago, we had a sleepover at the house of a school friend, and we all 
got up early in the morning (5 a.m.) to do our community service project at a 
shelter for women and children. We served self-made food for the women who go to 
the shelter to get their breakfast. These women have various problems in their 
lives. Since it was the first time in my life to be in the position of someone 
who serves food for people who have problems, I think this experience helped us, 
as well. At first, I wondered why the people were rude and didn`t seem grateful 
that we made tons of food ourselves and got up early to help them; but then I 
thought that I would not be talkative either if I had to be in their position, 
sitting with all these weird people together. 
          In the pictures, you can see the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. We 
celebrated Christmas Eve (the 24th) here in Alabama and on the morning of 
Christmas Day, we got our presents and headed towards Georgia where the 
grandparents of my host sister live. In the world of Coca Cola, we tried 60 
flavors of soda that the brand Coca Cola sells all over the world (North 
America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa)  Surprisingly, I liked the 
drink from Germany (Mezzo Mix) the most. There were some really weird flavors 
from other countries; I wonder if the people there have a different taste.
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	Yesterday, my host family took me to the country side to the farm of friends of 
theirs, and my host father and his friend played the guitar and the bass guitar 
to songs like “Christmas in Dixie”.
        Today, my host sister and I went to the horse of a friend and rode on it. I 
remembered it hard to get on a horse, but this is probably because I was small 
when I tried it the last time. I can`t describe the feeling that I had in words, 
I can only say that it was awesome. After this trip, my host family and I went 
to get the two baby cats that they got for Christmas. 
        By the way, my room mate and I have a pet in our dorm (my first pet in my 
life!!!!): a fish!
               Love from Dixie, 

PS: - the girl with the blond hair on the pictures is Abbey, my host sister.
    - the pic where Abbey puts flour on these small green stuffed animals 
shows the tradition with the elves: before sleeping, you put magic snowflakes on 
the elves and then, in the following night, they will mess up something in the 
house. The children have to clean it up.
    - I showed my host mom how to make baked apples (Bratäpfel). Since we did 
not have enough red apples, she thought we could use green apples instead. You 
can see them on the pictures.
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