Christmas Eve in Asia. . . making cookies. My first ever. #notpretty
It is always strange waking up on December 25th in a world where it is JUST another day. As I said in this other mini-post, this causes me (and the other Americans here) to go to great extremes to “Christmas up” the place.
This past week has been no different. After a quick service on Christmas Eve, we had a WONDERFUL meal where we all went full-boar in cooking and preparation. Following that, I went off with some of my friends who are first year students at the university here to make Christmas cookies AND watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
This picture is of the cookie creation time. Emily and Kathleen made the cookies, while Tyler, Sarah, and a few others decorated them. My cookie was about as bad looking as a Christmas cookie can be, but tasted good nonetheless. I can’t draw a straight line, so why would I think I could icing up a face on this little guy?!?!
When I am in America, I am never this “Christmasy”. However, here it is a blessing to be with others and celebrate both the true meaning of the holidays and some of the more superficial traditions of Christmas. It is a way of both coping with the inevitability of missing home AND taking advantage of an environment such as this to breath more of our faith into Christmas. Decorating Christmas cookies is one such example.
Prior to Tuesday night, I had never decorated Christmas cookies. Heck, I don’t think I had ever watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” in full, but we did both on Christmas Eve here. Both events were tons of fun and good for my soul.
Christmas morning, I woke up and Skyped with my family. It was a great time, as they were all together on Christmas Eve. Though it is always strange to know they are all together on holidays without me, it’s also nice to have the technology to feel a little connected to them through Skype.
Afterwards, I headed over to my friends Beth, Michael, and Stella Gregory’s for a brunch and time of Secret Santa with about 10 American and local Asian friends. Again, we ate and laughed and enjoyed opening presents with each other. In the afternoon, I was with a larger group, this time doing “Dirty Santa” gifts. Fun times.
We ended Christmas by watching Les Mis; at least about 10 of us did.
It was a good Christmas with good friends.