Time goes by really quickly. How many times have you heard someone say that? I’ve lost count. It is true though, isn’t it? It is winter already, and the holiday season is upon us. I have never really celebrated Christmas, mostly because at home we have Eid and events like that which are more prioritised. We did have holiday breaks around this time but that was called ‘winter vacation’ and was not necessarily for Christmas. In Canada, however, things are different.
|The Secret Venue|
At the end of November, I went to an event called a “Holiday Dinner” organized by the Humber International Centre. No one was told where we were going or what we were supposed to be doing there—just that it was a formal dinner and that everyone was expected to dress up. We boarded a bus in front of the Humber Residence buildings at around 4:45 and were taken to an amazingly decorated garden banquet! There were lights everywhere, on the building, entwined with trees; there were even light sculptures of reindeers and pandas. It was beautiful. Everyone in the bus started cheering and applauding, which was a nice start to the evening.
|Another student enjoiying the lights at the 2013 Holiday Dinner|
We got off the bus, and, as we walked through the door and into the main area, we saw a giant hall, probably big enough to accommodate an army. It was tastefully decorated with white and silver balloons and delicate red poinsettia flowers. There was a stage towards the middle left of the hall, probably for dancing. I haven’t ever been to a formal party in this sense, so I was awed just as much as all my fellow first-timers. We were seated and we had everyone give their ticket numbers for a draw that might win prizes.
|Pausing with Santa|
After all 400 or so of us were seated, Matthew McDonald, one of our international student advisors, came to the stage and started talking about the fun things planned for us. We played games like ‘Bring me’ with another student advisor, Matthew Keefe, during which people were willing to run over each other in order to bring Matthew belts or exact change in money or something of that sort. We had delicious food, enjoyed fun games and danced until our feet started hurting.
|Matthew Keefe conducting games|
All in all, it was a pretty awesome night, especially since I was with friends. I guess that is what the holiday spirit is about: getting together with people you care about and having a good time. I hope you all have an amazing holiday too!
Happy Holidays, my amigos!