‚A different Christmas‘, yeah that is a good title for my English report. When I first got the message, three months ago or so, that my English report will be about this topic, I was very excited.
I knew it would be a wonderful experience to write about. Then I started to think about what I will write in this blog. I started to think about the differences between Christmas at home and Christmas here on bord. And I came up with differences like the location and the people around me. The obvious ones. But I would have never been able to imagine the reality – the real differences about these two kinds of Christmas.
The first difference would be our date. At home you all celebrated Christmas on the 24th of December. We, the KUSis 16/17, decided to celebrate it on the 25th. – Fun fact: We are the first KUS- generation, who decided not to celebrate at the same date as our families and friends at home – I think it’s because of the other situation. If we had celebrated on the 24th, it would have gotten very hard for some of us, because we would always think about our families and what they were doing at this moment. With our decision to celebrate Christmas on the 25th, we turned it into our own little party, which has little to do with the event our families at home had.
But we still wanted something special for the 24th and that is the reason why we did a short service in the evening, where we all came together. Some of us held candles in glasses, others had the song text to ‚Es kommt ein Schiff geladen‘ in their hands. Unfortunately, not many of us knew the melody, so the song did not turn out very well. But we had fun.
Marie and Christian said some words and we had some musical contributions, for example Eva, who played a song on her saxophone. In the end Ruth read out greetings from people in Germany. We were all surprised when she said that the KUSis of the last year send us letters. Everyone of us got one from his or her ‚pre-cup number-KUSi‘. So thanks to the KUSis 15/16, you made us really happy when we saw your package of letters.
About twelve hours later I woke up to have breakfast. The first thing I heard on the 25th of December was ‚the date of our Christmas changed‘. Not the greatest thing to hear on Christmas morning.
But soon we all saw, that it would not have made sense to celebrate Christmas at the Columbian sea. The waves were huge and they crashed over the deck (‚white Christmas‘). We had to close all bulleyes, otherwise the water would have come into the ship. So our Christmas date was changed again, this time not on purpose.
In the morning of the 26th we arrived on the San Blas Isles, Panama. After cleaning the ship and packing the sails the Christmas preparations began – finally. A part of us drove to the small islands to get sea shells or palm tree leaves for decorating. At the same time me, Cosima, Lisa and Carlotta started to make snowflakes and little stars out of paper so that we could hang them in the net which was set up over the main deck. Others started to build up the tables for diner.
At 6 pm our Christmas – the Christmas of the KUSis 16/17 – began, with two days delay to the Christmas you celebrated at home. It started on the poop deck, where different members of the crew showed some of their singing talents or instrumental skills. The adults, for example, sang a beautiful chorus with four different parts of singing. And traditionally Detlef read out the Christmas story of ‚Diddeldaddeldu‘ (the KUSis of you will know, what I am talking about). It went on with us all drinking a Sundowner, a typical drink for the Caribbean, which I can only recommend.
After that, the Christmas dinner started on the main deck. The mess stewards, a team of Markus, Jule, Noah and Janna presented a pancake soup as a starter. The main dish was a vegetable roll for the vegetarians and roasted beaf for the rest of us. In the end they served us the dessert, chocolate ice cream with a hot berry sauce. Respect to the mess stewards, it was so good!
Between every dish, there was a little break, so that the people, who have been given the job of washing the dishes had time to do that without passing the food. To fill the breaks more contributions like singing followed, or Corinna, who read out a funny Christmas text.
After we finished eating, Elias, dressed as a Santa Claus, brought us our self made presents. Before Christmas took place, we all got a little note with the name of somebody from the crew on it. We had to make a present by our own for him/her with the name on it and placed it into a box in the mess room. In this process we all took care, that our person did not notice, that we were making something for him. When Christmas came, the box with the presents disappeared.
Now, Elias brought the gifts to the middle of the main deck and started to read out the persons names and give them their present. Everyone happily showed their presents to the others and read out the notes they got. Some got a self-made hanging shelf for their bunk, others got coconut bowls. Carla got a head, which was partly finished. I got a very cool shirt, out of pieces of an old sail or something similar. Or there was Jordana, who got an octopus to cuddle with. All the gifts were very creative and took a lot of time and energy to make them.
After singing „Oh du Fröhliche“ and „Maria durch ein‘ Dornwald ging“ the evening was officially finished. We slowly began to move, because we had all eaten very much and started to tidy up the main deck, which was full of packing paper and decorative snowflakes. When the prints of our Christmas party were removed we sat together in the mess room to write our diaries, what an unforgettable Christmas we just experienced and to show the presents we got.
The whole evening was a success and we all helped to turn it into one. It was completely different to all the other Christmases I had at home, but it was wonderful in it’s own way.
And that is why the title „A different Christmas“ fits perfectly to my text.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas at home,