by Frida from DR Congo

In 2022, for the first time since I was born, I celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve without my family and outside my home country. I thought I couldn’t celebrate alone – and I couldn’t imagine celebrating with people other than my family. Of course it was difficult for me, but then it turned out that I was not alone, but celebrated Christmas Eve together with Carolin, Helen, Barbara, Gentile and others.

In Congo, where I come from, December 24 is the day we prepare everything for Christmas. We go to the hairdresser and there is a new hairstyle, to the manicure and there are new nails, we buy a lot of things and food, and we decorate the church and much more.
On December 25, we go to church from 9 a.m. for maybe three hours and then people go to different places and different houses to celebrate Christmas.

Here in Germany, I experienced something else:
On December 23rd, Carolin, Helen, Christina and I were with other people at Studio 41 to prepare everything for Christmas Eve. There we also set up a Christmas tree, which was actually not a tree, but a no-night tree. On December 24, we were back in Studio 41 for the divine service from 2 pm. After the service we played a game to get to know each other and then we prepared Christmas together in three groups. One group was in the kitchen cooking (I 😜 was in this group), another group decorated the table and yet another group baked cookies.

After the work of the three groups, we ate together, drank, danced, sang, laughed and so on for many hours and then each of us went home.

In my own country, there are gifts for the children on 25 December – the parents and other relatives only give the children presents, usually with new clothes, but the adults themselves do not receive gifts. Here in Germany, I learned that you can give something to someone even though you weren’t born into the same family. That’s nice.