Christmas in Taiwan

We haven’t quite figured out if people in Taiwan love to celebrate Christmas, or if they just love to celebrate period. Since the two major religions on the island are Buddhism and Taoism with only about 4 percent of the island claiming Christianity as their faith, I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Our local shopping malls were coated in glitter, garland, and gold.  It was similar to how stores in the states decorate but somehow seemed a bit more tacky.  Everything seemed a bit … off.  While I’d normally smell cinnamon and pine everywhere Taiwan smelled like rain and food stalls.   All of the stores played holiday music but it was a bit bastardized and lacked a lot of … English.  And it all seemed to be some form of techno music. It felt too hot to be Christmas at 60-70 degrees every day.  I miss the cold and the snow. Tex warns me that if I keep complaining about the heat we’re going to Ulaanbaatar next.  Maybe they have real Christmas trees…

To offset some of the not-so-jolly spirit I was feeling Tex and I hosted a holiday party at our house.   My family hosts a large holiday party every year so it was very satisfying to recreate a holiday tradition from home.  I think it was just an excuse for Tex to talk me into buying a 4lb tin of cookies at Costco.

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Taiwan did a lovely job at Christmas, it just wasn’t home. I think no matter where we were posted for our first tour I would feel a bit homesick.  It’s not like my family stands around singing carols while we exchange wooden toys across a piano. I’m probably just romanticizing a comfort zone.  However, let me just say that I was raised in the same town in Pennsylvania that inspired THIS song, how could I not miss it?

Despite my preconceived notions about what the Christmas season should feel like we had a lovely holiday.  Tex wanted Chinese food on Christmas Eve (rather easy to find here) so we went out with some friends for dinner.  On Christmas Day we made salted caramel cappuccinos, opened our stockings, and watched movies all day. Not bad for our first Christmas away from home.