We made it to the Christmas post! We're only roughly one month behind!
So, this was our first time spending the actual Christmas day together since last year Tom flew to Peru a couple days before and I followed a couple days after. We were a bit sad to be away from family, but we still really enjoyed ourselves.
I was really excited about Christmas, so just a day or two after Thanksgiving I started getting decorations. In Taiwan they decorate for Christmas but don't celebrate it. Like, they love the gaudy lights and decorations and totally deck everything out, but when the actual day comes no one seems to realize it. Nor, indeed, to they seem to notice it's no longer Christmastime afterward. In fact, I still see plenty of Christmas decorations around town.
Even though they decorate, though, it's not that easy to find...stylish decorations. They have their own style here which partly cannot be described and partly can be described as being very glittery and neon. They don't quite seem to get that Christmas colors are red and green (and maybe silver and blue). Anyway, we did the best we could.
This is after our first round of decorations. We got the tree, some ornaments and a spray can of "fake snow" that turned out to only have enough in it to spell "Merry Chris."
Here's our pretty tree after we got lights. This tree was super cheap btw.
Here's our present stash on Christmas Eve night. It includes presents we got for each other, presents other people got for us and basically anything we could wrap (trash bags, ziplock bags, cleaning spray).
Tom, Christmas morning, with his Lions blanket.
Our breakfast setup Christmas morning. Notice the usb powered, panda designed mug warmers - boy do the Taiwanese know how to give great gifts!
Actually, the mug warmers ended up being a blessing to us in an unexpected way. We usually don't get the internet in our apartment, so if we want to talk to family members on skype we have to go downstairs to the lobby, where there's wifi, and do it. But, because we had our computers out for the mug warmers we caught the Christmas miracle of a wifi connection that lasted just long enough for Tom's family to surprise us by calling and talking to us. It was nice. Oh, and by the way, we had pancakes for breakfast.
Breakfast was followed by opening presents, testing them out and relaxing. After that, in the spirit of Christmas we decided to try to leave some money around town for people to find. It was really fun! The Taiwanese people are VERY honest people, though, so we were joking while we were hiding the money that we wouldn't be surprised if they would see the money and just leave it there. Sure enough, we went back about two weeks later and at least one of the bills, in plain sight, was still there!
In the evening we went out to dinner at T.G.I. fridays. The wait was SO long, but it was worth it and very scrumptious. Closest thing to a decent American meal you can find in Taiwan.
Next up: a great bike ride!