A Magical Christmas: My First Winter in the UK

Hello all! As December unfolds its wintery charm, I find myself eagerly anticipating Christmas in the UK. I’m an Indian student studying in Surrey, and the festive spirit here is already infectious!

Part 1: The Beginning of Festive Cheer!

As December dawned, the university transformed into a wonderland of lights, marking the start of the Christmas season. I was surprised and in awe when I got to know that there are ceremonies where everyone gets together and then there’s a countdown to turn on the lights. It did not just feel like a festive ritual; it was an emotional experience. The unfamiliar yet comforting scents of pies and mulled wine mingled in the air, creating new sensory memories that were distinctly different from my Indian heritage. The evening’s laughter and music resonated with a sense of belonging, making me feel connected in this new chapter of my life in the UK.

Source: uniofsurrey Instagram

Part 2: Guildford’s Festive Makeover

Just a week into December, and Guildford has transformed into a scene straight from a Christmas card. The town, already charming, now twinkles with festive lights. The high street is more enchanting than it always is. Shop windows are captivating with their festive display; it is a visual feast. The whole celebration is so different from what happens back in India, yet equally heartwarming. After roaming around the town, soaking it all in, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude and awe, thrilled to be a part of this new, vibrant celebration.

Part 3: A Glimpse of London’s Festive Splendor

One week into the magical December air, my journey took me to the grandeur of London. Even in its early festive attire, London presents a spectacle of holiday celebration that is both overwhelming and awe-inspiring.

The streets of London were a bustling canvas of lights and decorations. Iconic locations like Oxford Street and Covent Garden, already radiant in their usual attire, are now adorned with jewel-like lights that seem to twinkle and create certain auras and happiness around them. The grandiosity of London’s Christmas set-up is a stark contrast to Guildford’s cozy charm, yet both share the same underlying spirit of joy, festivity, and celebration. The festive lights of London don’t just illuminate the streets; they also light up the hearts of everyone around them.

Every corner of the city resonates with cheer, echoing communal warmth through the decor and the various Christmas markets, which have a perfect blend of cultural festivities and communal joy. The excitement in the air during Christmas is palpable; it filled me with anticipation for what the rest of the season will bring.

Part 4: The Anticipation of Christmas Day

As the holiday season approaches, my anticipation grows. I am excited to experience the full spectrum of British Christmas traditions. From carol singing at various locations in town and in London to the grand Christmas feasts. Each new experience is a treasure I look forward to embracing. Most importantly, I cherish the prospect of sharing these moments with the friends I have made here, blending our diverse cultures in the warmth of this festive season!