Because we will be in Italy on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Jesse and I cheated and exchanged gifts early.
(I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. I can’t believe that we are going to Italy for Christmas.)
Jesse bought me a new watch–somehow I broke mine in the process of landing on my chin at the bus stop in November. He also picked out some wonderful presents from the Christmas market: a colorful hand-woven rug made by an elderly Hungarian lady from Transylvania, and a ceramic mug with a hand painted picture of Debrecen’s iconic yellow Nagytemplom. The mug is perfect for large cups of chai tea and hot chocolate.
I love that these presents were purchased either from small businesses or directly from the person who made them.
Due to the wonders of the internet, Jesse and I bought presents for our family with a few clicks of a mouse (and our credit card information is now floating all over cyber space). I bought presents from a fair trade website. Consider checking it out the next time you’re looking for a unique gift or a piece of home decor!
Last Saturday, I went to a Christmas party hosted by a CETP teacher. In a wonderful blend of Hungarian and American Christmas traditions, we sipped mugs full of forralt bor (hot spiced wine) while having a hilarious white elephant gift exchange. After much stealing and trading, I ended up with some Hungarian wildflowers.
The packet is in Hungarian, ancient Hungarian runes, and English:
As I walked from the bus station to my friend’s apartment, I watched the rain turn into large, frozen blobs. It took my brain a minute to register what these were: snowflakes. The snow actually stuck around overnight. This was the view from my apartment on Sunday morning:
We will definitely miss our family on Christmas day, but we have found many ways to enjoy the holiday season in Hungary.