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…is weirdish.

I knew that already, from spending one Christmas a couple years ago in the midst of a balmy New Zealand summer.

But this was the first year I’ve ever had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

It wasn’t all bad. I taught the kids about Christmas. They were excited. The school was decorated for the holidays. We played fun Christmas games, and I wore a Winnie-the-Pooh Santa Claus hat.

Truthfully, I probably got more Christmas at school than I would’ve anywhere else in Taipei, had I taken my boss up on her very generous offer to take the day off.

A couple friends and I had a gorgeous Christmas Eve feast at the Grand Hyatt. It was amazing. I ate until I had physically debilitated myself and could barely walk back to the MRT. I had turkey out the wazoo; I ate my weight in cheesecake and pumpkin pie and chocolate chip cookies. I drank the Kahlua hot chocolate I’d snuck in and laughed at the hilarious things the wonderful friends I’m very lucky to have found here said and did. I even argued with another American about the US military, a conversation sweetly reminiscent of the conversations I have with extended family members every year.

Everything was good. It was just very different. Work was good, but I was still at work; the dinner was good, but I was still at a restaurant.

Merry belated Christmas, everyone.