How The Grinch Stole Christmas is my favorite Dr. Suess book! The way the Grinch tries to steal Christmas but then realizes that Christmas came without all the presents, tress, and food just gets me every time. More than just “getting to me” it reminds me that Christmas is more than the gifts, decorations, delicious cookies, and fun Christmas carols, it’s about our Savior. The gift of Christ is the greatest gift anyone has or will ever receive, and the fact that God sent His son to earth to forgive us of our mistakes, selfishness, and mean words, and die so that we can live for eternity in the paradise called heaven, that’s what really gets to me during Christmas. Now I know Christmas has come and gone, but I come from the school of thought that says Christmas should be celebrated all year long, so here’s our Christmas story.
I was worried that Christmas this year would just go on by unnoticed, but I was so wrong. Although Christmas isn’t as popular in Taiwan as it is in the US, it still gets some attention. There are Christmas trees in the stores, lights all around, and Merry Christmas signs in 7-11. We still have our Charlie Brown tree up in our house, and I’m not really sure when I’ll take it down, I’m sure Nick will make me do it soon. 🙂 Christmas day was not your traditional Christmas considering we had to work, but we spent this Christmas surrounded by good friends, and fellow believers, and that is what is really important. Our church put on a Christmas play the Sunday before Christmas, and we spent Christmas with some fellow foreigners eating Turkey and all the yummy stuff that goes with it! On Christmas day, we were also able to skype with our families back home, that was wonderful!
We even had a big Christmas Shebang at the school on Christmas day! We decorated a Christmas tree and spent the day playing Christmas themed games and Christmas music. We had a “snow ball” fight, made Snowflakes, decorated ornaments to hang on Christmas trees, and even had a small gift exchange for the older students. It was a big hit with all the kids, (especially the snowball fight). Our co-workers and us had a Secret Santa gift exchange, and we got some really fun and thoughtful stuff! So even though we had to work on Christmas day, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend Christmas this year! We had Christ in our hearts, and that was what really mattered.
Like I said before, Christmas isn’t the big thing this time of year in Taiwan, instead, they celebrate Winter Solstice. Unfortunately we don’t get any time off of school, but we do get to learn about the traditions associated with it. Winter Solstice marks the beginning of winter in Taiwan, and they celebrate it by making rice balls and in Penghu, rice animals. The ball is to symbolize safety in the coming year, and I’m not really sure what the animals are for, something about how the people in the old times couldn’t afford real animals, so they made them out of rice. Don’t quote me on that though. Whatever the reason, making rice balls and animals is a lot of fun! We spent December 19th (my birthday) making the rice balls and animals. Although my rice elephant did not turn out they way I had imagined him, I had a blast!
Here are some photos from our Christmas adventures!