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.