Posted by: sea2stars | December 30, 2009

Christmas came with a purple tree

As expected Christmas was very different this year. To some extent it seems as if it never actually came. Although their was evidence that Christmas existed it was not so abundant that it really felt like Christmas. The stores carried some fake trees and tinsel and santa hats. Some of the larger stores played Christmas music but overall it did not feel like Christmas. Houses were not decorated with lights, windows were not filled with decorated trees, and stores were not packed with last minute shoppers. Here in Taiwan it was just another day. People got up and went to work just like an other day and so did I. It was a bit of a strange feeling knowing that back home the world had practically stopped and that Christmas would be over for me before it even began in the U.S.

We had a small Christmas here. I went to a party at my friend Theresa’s house where many of the expats gathered. We had a delicious Turkey that came with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. It was nice to be with some friends for the holidays.

We also had Christmas at school. On Friday my afternoon class had a small party. I drew an elaborate picture on the board and tried to explain the story of Santa Clause. The more I explained the story the sillier it got.
First I explained how we hung stocking by the fire only to be asked “Why is socks on wall?”
I told them, “Santa put presents in the socks”
Then they said, “Santa put present in the tree,” and looked at me with their question mark faces.
I said, “Santa put presents in both places.”
I didn’t have an answer for this one. So I moved on and started to explain about Santa and his flying reindeer.
“Deer is in the forest and run. Teacher, deer fly?” one of my student interrupted.
We had just finished our unit on animals and where they live so I couldn’t contradict what I had already told them so I said, “No most deer don’t fly, but Santa has special reindeers that fly.”
One of my kids quickly came up to the board and started laughing as she started to draw wings on my poorly drawn reindeer. I could see the kids weren’t buying the story of Christmas and Santa Clause, but I kept trying.
Finally one of the kids blurted out the obvious and said, “Mom and dad is Santa.”
It was futile for me to try and continue to justify Santa’s strange behavior and the more and more I tired the funnier and funnier it got to me. I began to wondered how any kid could every believed that Santa really had flying reindeer and delivered presents by going down a chimney.

We then exchanged gifts, sang some songs, and I read them ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ I’m not sure they understood all of it but I think they got the gist of it. One girl commented that she didn’t like the Grinch because he was ugly.

On sunday we had a Christmas party for the whole school. Each teacher set up a game for the kids to play. Once they completed the game they got a stamp and after all the games they were able to able to go to the office and pick out a christmas gift. The game I came up with was called the Jingle Bell Hop. I used the songs Jingle Bells and Jingle Bell rock and they had to hop to the correct word when I played the song.

Nick put together a game called ‘So you think you can dance?” The kids had to dance a portion of 3 very popluar songs. Sorry Sorry by Supper Junior (which is by far the largest boy band I have ever seen), Nobody by the Wonder Girls, and Honey by JYP. It was fun watching the kids try to dance to the songs. Here is them dancing to Sorry Sorry.

Kate put together a craft where the kids made a foot and hand reindeer. Most of the kids didn’t understand that it was something that should be taken home and hung on the fridge (maybe they don’t do that sort of thing here) so she had quite a pile reindeers left behind.



  1. Happy New Year! Cheers to more adventures in 2010. xo

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