Last Christmas was my fourth Christmas in Taiwan.
I told myself that I was used to it. That going to work on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day were not a big deal and that everything would be fine. Well you know what working through the holidays is a damn depressing experience to live through regardless of your cultural environment. The same thing for New Year’s Eve. I had a PhD presentation due that morning. Yes, there were parties and gift exchanges, but having to teach and work through it all on top of social commitments was a little much.
My favorite moments happened on Christmas Day when I gave two overlooked individuals a Christmas gift: my school’s Filipino cleaning lady and a posh mother who is often taken for granted due to her high economic position in life. The cleaning lady had not received any presents from other teachers and felt valued through my gift. The posh mother continually works hard for her children and is constantly expected to better others through her socioeconomic status. She appreciated my gift so much she ran out of her car to give me a hug. Sometimes the Christmas spirit works in small wonders.