Hanukkah, Stockings & Saint Nicholas Too!

One of the brilliant parts of hosting an exchange student is the FUN that comes from including them in your family’s holiday celebrations… and trying out some of theirs!

This has been true of the Chudoba family, who is hosting Alex from Germany this year.

This vibrant family is accustomed to having guests in their house, so when host mom Brandi heard about some young men needing a host home before the start of school, she jumped right in!

“My house is just always an open door,” said Brandi.

Brandi’s 3 children, ages 12, 10 and 6, have loved having an older brother. “He’s uber-easy-going, and I think that helps,” shares Brandi.

The Chudoba family has loved welcoming Alex into their extended family traditions, which include both Christmas and Hanukkah.

“All our family is local,” shares Brandi, “and they’ve all welcomed Alex right into the mix!”

At one large family Christmas gathering, Alex was even welcomed into the family tradition of receiving an embroidered Pottery Barn stocking with his name on it!

Incorporating student traditions can be just fun as sharing your own, and the Chudoba family discovered this first hand. They jumped right into the fun German tradition of putting out their shoes to receive treats from Saint Nicholas on Dec. 6, which was a first for their family.

To add to the festivities, Alex and the Chudoba family enjoyed a beautiful Hanukkah as well, since Brandi’s sister is Jewish.

They enjoyed a gorgeous celebration –  a new experience for Alex! Included in the traditional meal were many German foods (like latkes!), serving as an unexpected touch of home for their exchange student guest.


Exchange has always been about giving and sharing, and this could not be more true during the holiday season! Thank you, Chudoba family for sharing a glimpse into your lives this time of year!

Blessings to all, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from iE!


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