So this is Christmas...

(That is, Merry Christmas!)

This picture makes me
look short!
It is officially my first Christmas away from home in Taiwan, hundreds of miles away from my family. Tomorrow marks four months since I moved.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and it's odd to be in a different country during this holiday season. Since Christmas is not an official holiday here, I've been doing school work non-stop, even in the early Christmas hours! I've got papers to write and academic journals to read until January. At first, I thought it was depressing, going to classes and doing school work during the holidays. But now, I see it as a transition. My life's changed, so I must get used to the changes! I'm someone who isn't exactly fond of extreme change, but after moving far away and having to acclimate myself to a myriad of new things, I'm learning to embrace it.

Maybe I'm trying to say that I've grown up.  Therefore, this is my first Christmas as an adult.

The dinner (at least some of it).
I am not completely alone here during the holidays, anyway. I've met many kind, wonderful people this year and I'm thankful for that. I had an amazing Christmas Eve dinner with great company. It was a half Chinese, half American style spread, but it all tasted great together.

I truly am content; many people dream about what I've gotten to experience thus far and it's all been a great gift. Truthfully, when you are in an unfamiliar environment, in can take an emotional toll on you. I've had some terrible days where I just want to lash out and scream or hide away in my room. But I think bad moments can be beneficial. When removed from what you're used to, you discover a lot about yourself.  Therefore, I think my experiences so far are a wonderful Christmas gift. For me, this Christmas is about reflection and being grateful for what I have and have accomplished.

Okay - enough of the serious babel!

While Christmas is not an official holiday here, the holiday season has been present in many places in Taipei, mainly in the Xinyi district.

Big snowman in Xinyi.
A walkway with lights.
This light tree was huge!
Look at the people to compare.
Inside the tree, you could sit and take pictures.

Lastly, I leave you with some Christmas music:

"So this is Christmas" by Celine Dion:

"X-mas Spirit" by Chara (my favorite Japanese artist!)


  1. Wonderful post! Love your optimism!
    Have you been to the Banqiao train station area yet? The park across the station is covered in Christmas lights. Really beautiful, and I think they will still be up until January 13th.

  2. Thanks! And thank you for the heads-up as well. My winter break is really soon, so I think I'll go down there and check it out if the lights are still up in January!