Christmas: Let it rain, Let it rain, Let it rain

December 20th & 25th, 2014

My first Christmas in Taiwan, but it didn’t really feel like Christmas. I am from Midwest United States so it is usually snowing and very cold. Here it just rained.

The first part of my Christmas happened on the Saturday before Christmas. The kindergarten I work for scheduled a Kindy Christmas hike. My co-worker, Steve, and I led exercise time and sang two Christmas carols with over a hundred parents and kids. Then while everyone else started off on their hike Steve and I scooted up the mountain and waited at the top dressed like Santa and Santa’s sister (that is what the kids were told). One by one the kids would come up and take a picture with Santa and then take a picture with me and get a present of baked goods. By the time the two hours on the mountain was up I was tired, and my cheeks were in pain from smiling so much.

Santa's Sister

Santa’s Sister

Orange grove at the top of the mountain.

Orange grove at the top of the mountain.

After the hike was over I went to get some food and chill out until I left for the HESS Taichung Area Christmas Party. The party was held in the new bakery that HESS just started in Taichung. As strange and kind of awkward as it was it was nice to see other HESS people and eat a lot of good, homemade food. After the party my co-worker, Kristen, and I went to another co-worker’s, Laura’s, apartment to have a couple drinks and just chill out. It was really nice to talk outside of work and actually get to know a person that we only get to see in the morning. Several hours later Kristen and I said our goodbyes and went back home.

Then it was Christmas Day. HESS gives NSTs the option to not work on Christmas, but I was not in the mood to have to make-up my classes or to be alone on Christmas, so I just worked. It was a long day and I wasn’t in the best mood because I was at work, but it was alright for my first Christmas away from home. I love giving little gifts on Christmas so I had actually wrote cards for my HRTs, CT, and branch manager. I had also made a Christmas card for my friends and family back home. I can’t wait for them to get it! Usually I do not like receiving gifts. I just don’t want people to spend money on me, but this Christmas was different. Receiving gifts was like a nice little reminder that I have people in my life that care about me. It also gave me a little bit of Christmas spirit.

Presentssss

Presentssss

Awesome perfume, lotion, and body gel set from a student's mother!

Awesome perfume, lotion, and body gel set from a student’s mother!

Starbucks coffee and candy It's like they know me or something!

Starbucks coffee and candy
It’s like they know me or something!

Cheesy Christmas card I made, printed, and sent to my family and friends

Cheesy Christmas card I made, printed, and sent to my family and friends

After work I met up with two people in Fengyuan that I am friends with. We went to a restaurant in town called Thai Do and ate an amazing Thai meal for dinner. It was actually really nice and made me very happy to have people to share a meal with on Christmas.

The Christmas spread!

The Christmas spread!

After the delicious dinner and great conversation I went back home. I was able to FaceTime with my mom, dad, and sister while they were driving to my Grandma’s house.

While it may not have been the happiest of Christmas’ I was still able to enjoy myself with co-workers and friends.

To all those who celebrate: Merry Christmas!