Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

As the Holidays approach and homesickness starts to creep in, we are constantly being reminded that we are not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Being in a subtropical climate, there have been no red and gold falling leaves, no frost on the ground when you wake up, heck, it has barely gotten below 60º! There have been, however, dogs and babies dressed as animals to shield them from the below 70º frigid temperatures (see panda-dog below).

We have seen no heart-warming commercials about the son in the army who surprises his folks by ringing the doorbell during the Thanksgiving meal with a pumpkin pie in hand. Twinkling lights don’t wink at you from front porch windows nor are your ears assailed with Elvis’ classic Christmas carol I’ll Have a Blue Christmas over and over and over and over again from every radio station on the FM dial. Santa and his eight tiny reindeer don’t wave at you from store windows boasting 20% off the new paraffin wax pedicure set, at the top of every woman’s wish list. We don’t even get the signs that say, “Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. In fact, the only holiday reminder that we have, other than the calendar, is that Starbucks has recently changed their cups to the red ones with snowflakes and has added the toffee nut latte to their menu.

On the one hand, the lack of a Christmas wonderland leaves us wistfully dreaming of a far away place across the Pacific where friends and family gather over cranberry sauce and can actually read the directions on the can on how to serve it. On the other hand, it is nice to be in a place where we get to tell students why we take one day every year to thank God for all that he has given us and it is actually new information for them. It is fun to explain our “crazy” tradition of eating turkey (which is remarkably hard to find here) and dressing until we collapse into a tryptophan-induced nap while watching the Detroit Lions lose once again.

As we get ready to jet off to Hong Kong tomorrow to celebrate Turkey Day with some dim sum just like Grandma used to make, we are thankful for our sweet friends and family back in the good ol’ USA.


Abbey said...

Oh man. That sounds so... well, depressing really! I'm glad y'all are getting away tho. Can't wait to hear about it!
How's the training coming along?

Chris and Ashley said...

oh no! I didn't mean for it to sound depressing, sorry! Training is going well, thanks for asking. The race is three weeks from today, I can't believe it!