Sunday, January 2, 2011

American Holidays

So, I know I am not in America and I wasn't sure exactly what holidays they had here, so I wasn't sure how the holidays I am familiar with would be. For Halloween it was just another day that I worked. No people dressed up or trick or treat. Thanksgiving was also not celebrated. We had part of the previous week off for Hari Raya Haji.  I did have a friend offer to make chicken and other side dishes if I wanted, but I told her that was ok. For Christmas my Mom was here, so I thought it might feel more like Christmas. I did not have any Christmas decorations in my room I am renting. There was not enough space and I didn't really want to buy things, because what would I do with them when I leave. Some stores did have Christmas decorations that they were selling. A couple places played Christmas music, but "dashing through the snow" and "sitting in front of an open fire" just doesn't really fit with hot  and humid weather and green plants and flowers everywhere. The place my Mom stayed most of the time did have a little fake Christmas tree that was decorated nicely. We also stayed at a hotel for a few days that had some Christmas decorations. It still didn't really feel like Christmas though. There were lots of traditions that were missing. Of course, no snow. No Christmas Bazaar where I run into people I haven't seen in ages and spend the time catching up on what the year has brought. No Festival of Trees, going to look at the Christmas trees, mini Christmas trees, and Wreaths. No listening to the awesome Chamber Singers and Symphony do their Christmas concerts. I didn't get to decorate any trees. I didn't have a nativity scene to set up and spend time getting it just like I wanted. I didn't have Christmas music here that I listened to and sang to while decorating the house. No Christmas cookies or favorite appetizers. No presents exchanged or gifts from "Santa". No Christmas Eve church service with my favorite part where the end is done only lit by candles singing "Silent Night". No driving around the neighborhoods looking at all the Christmas lights. We did have a Christmas Day church service and a Christmas Day dinner. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. As much as I missed these things I know it is not the end of the world. I am living in a foreign country where things are different. Someday I will return home and be able to return to my traditions in some form and will probably add new ones. Missing all these things will make me appreciate them more some day. It will be interesting to see what other holidays I cherish turn out like while I am here.

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