As an American living in the UK, almost everything is exciting about experiencing a new culture, especially during Christmas

This year marks my third Christmas in the UK.

Coming from a desert state where I'd rarely see a cloud in the sky and had never owned a proper coat, I'm still adjusting to the reality of winter in England - cold, wet days and sunsets in the afternoon.

Since my first Christmas here I have loved immersing myself in British traditions from cheesy Christmas cracker jokes to colourful paper crowns.

I love that there are Christmas markets with mulled wine and warm winter spices that fill the air.

It all seems straight out of a Christmas story book that I would read when I was a kid.

Only recently did I learn about the panto, which sounds wild and fun, and honestly quite confusing.

Nevertheless that's on the top of my 'British things to-do' list.

In America, many of us dedicate our December weekends to cosying up with the family watching a go-to stop motion special like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and making homemade cookies for ourselves and our neighbours.

Another American family favourite is the Christmas pickle.

In England I look forward to the mince pies shared daily and I identify with your country's love for Brussel sprouts.

Here, they're everywhere you go - sprout baubles, in ketchup, in gin.

I never even heard of Boxing Day before I came to England.

With so many holidays off, you basically have a whole week to kick back and enjoy!

In America we seem to trade all those extra days off for a nation-wide dedication to over-the-top Christmas lights and house decorations, everywhere but the ceiling.

As many differences as there are in our celebrations, we're all one in the same when it comes to awkward dinner conversations or annual stress cooking before guests arrive.

One thing I have come to realise spending Christmas away from 'home' is that I'm grateful for the sense of community that Christmas brings, whether in the US with my own family or with the family that I have become a part of here.