There is one more Indonesia post to go, but its going to have to wait a little while because….Its almost Christmas!!! And I have not posted a single festive thing since my pitiful Thanksgiving posts!!! So, the next few days will be dedicated to Christmas cheer and what-not!
To answer the question that I am sure is on everyone’s mind, “How does one celebrate Christmas in Hong Kong?” – let me tell you. If you are a local Hong Konger you drown everything in neon, shimmering – preferably moving – lights in colors that have no relation to Christmas. (I’m waiting for Nick and Valerie to host the Christmas Throw-up-off – ’cause I’ve got it in the bag!!) But, if you are not a local, if in fact you are a single white female experiencing Christmas by yourself for the first time, this is what you do: Look pitiful and hope someone invites you over for dinner. Just kidding…sorta.
Tomorrow the marathon of Christmas festivities begin!! There is a staff luncheon at that Cathedral at noon; after which I will rush home to make some fantastic authentic American Christmas dish with all Chinese ingredients because I cannot afford to shop at the Western market; then off to the Christmas Eve service at my fantastic church Tao Fong Shan, complete with Christmas party with games and food – of which I will only be able to stay for half of, as I then; rush back down the mountain into the chaos that is Kowloon (my neighborhood) and to the Christmas Party at the BH – where we have invited 4 other shelters to join us (we are expecting at least 100 migrant workers, plus our 50 or so volunteers!!). The next morning I will get up bright and early to skype with my family – it will still be Christmas Eve for them – so I will get to watch as the entire Burke family eats all of my favorite foods without sharing; then its off of my pastors house where I will share Christmas dinner with his family (because apparently the pitiful eyes worked on he and his wife last week); then back to the flat to skype Christmas with Kris; and then again before I go to bed I will skype Christmas morning with my family. There will probably be some celebration in there for my brother, as it is also his BIRTHDAY!! I have off the 26th from work as well – and I will probably talk to my family and to Kris again, and am hoping to go hiking with a couple of friends if it isn’t raining.
It hits me in waves that I won’t be home for Christmas – that I will be missing out on all the traditions that make Christmas so special for me. I haven’t gotten really sad yet, I’ve been trying to stay busy enough that I don’t really have to think about it. I know that the actual day will probably be hard, but I also have to remember: I am in a unique place to be celebrating with women who are also away from their families – not just at Christmas, but ALL the time – and they don’t have the privileges of communication like I do (ie, skype, frequent phone calls and impending visits). So I know that it will be really special to celebrate with them.
So, there will probably be a sappy post about traditions and being sad later, but for now, I am excited about the next couple of days. Merry Christmas everyone!!
<—Me with my little Charlie Brown tree, and the cutest little stocking ever (courtesy of my dear friend Dani in KY!)