Saturday, December 22, 2012

8 things I've come to expect after 8 Christmases in Taiwan

I just got back from the Christmas outreach service put on by the local church I attend here in Taiwan, during which I started putting this post together in my mind.

8. Expect variety, a LOT of variety.... the variety show is an extremely popular form of entertainment here and a formula a lot of churches follow... we had performances by groups of all ages and in many different genres tonight.

7. Expect at least one aboriginal dance or song, which will be amazing... Ok I've lived on the east coast for all of my 8 years here, so this might be different elsewhere... Tonight's dance represented at least three generations and three different tribes. They were great.


6. If you dare to wear red, or put on a red hat, someone will excitedly say that you look like Santa Claus... even if you're a woman. Who doesn't have a beard. I skipped it this year. 

5. You might sing one or two actual Christmas carols. One of them will be "Silent Night."

4. You will be treated to a viewing of a popular dubbed performance elaborately costumed and prepared by older members of the church who lip sync to songs and dialogue that tells some kind of story vaguely or obviously related to Christmas (this year's was about an elephant, a zebra and a cheetah who followed a star). They've been doing these shows for the past 10 years. The kids love them. I just don't see the appeal. 

3. The teens go all out for their performance. It's always impressive, and sometimes related to Christmas. 

2. Whether you've been at the church for a few months or a few years, you will probably be called onto the stage at some point to sing and/or dance. This year was dancing. I was ready. 

1. If you can leave your cynicism, homesickness, and longing for some semblance of Christmas traditions behind for a little while, you might even enjoy the show :) After all, Christmas is not about you... it's about God saying: "See, I am making all things new." His favor rests on those who worship him. 

If I don't get back here in the next few days, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my blog readers! May your Christmas be as entertaining, endearing, and Emmanuel-filled as mine.