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Nicos Frenkel is the sweetest exchange student at Cienega who came to us all the way from a small town outside of Cologne, Germany. Nicos is fifteen years old and he’s a junior; sadly, he is only here for the duration of the school year. I guess that’s a good amount of time for him though because he says he misses his family and friends. My first question for Nicos was if he enjoyed the snow in Germany and he scrunched his face as he replied no. He says he prefers the warmer weather, which is understandable. I asked him what he would be doing around this time of year and he told me that in Germany they don’t call it Thanksgiving, they call it Erntedankfest, but his family doesn’t celebrate it. Then I asked him if he’s excited about his first Thanksgiving and he said yes, but he is mostly excited about going Black Friday shopping. Next, I brought up Christmas and asked what traditions his family has, he responded that Christmas in Germany is celebrated on December 24th, but they still get the 25th and 26th off from work and school. I asked what a usual Christmas day in his home would look like and Nicos said, “On the 24th usually all of my family will meet, decorate our tree, go to church then open our presents and have dinner together.” I asked what he usually eats for a Christmas dinner and he said, “It depends on what my family wants that year, but our usual Christmas meal is lamb, mashed potatoes, and red cabbage.” My final question for Nicos was what was his favorite Christmas memory and he smiled as he began telling me about the Christmas his family spent at his best friend’s house when they all spent the night and opened presents together on Christmas morning.

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