This Christmas is guaranteed to be outside of my normal. Completely away from home, rather, in someone else's home. I am being hosted by a family in the county of Shropshire (or Shrop-shurr) as I pronounce it. HOST is a program where local families can host international students for holidays and weekends throughout the year. I am very lucky to get a Christmas placement, and it will be even more interesting as I will be sharing the experience with a Taiwanese student. The hosts themselves are a family of four, both children under six, and I'm told that for Christmas, the house will be filled with in-laws and friends as well. The host family seem really nice and they must be, as they get no compensation from any of the parties involved and host students merely for the good experience. I am certainly looking forward to tucking in to a traditional Christmas dinner and am most curious as to what exactly comprises a Christmas pudding. I'm sure all my questions will be answered. As for the town, I'm thinking Dibley. There are less than 2000 residents in the area, and they asked me to bring my wellies. Always a good sign. Further, it has been snowing on the entire northern hemisphere except for Coventry this past week, so I'm really excited about seeing some of the white stuff. (Sorry home state, I'm sure you're sick of it by now) I'm hoping that the season will be so far removed from what I usually do that it will dull the ache of not doing it. So, my bag is packed, my mother has most kindly furnished me with some thank you gifts from home, and I'm ready to hop on the train.