living in a country that is not predominantly Christian has had some serious effects on how I celebrate the holidays. one major way - my ability to find Christmas decorations. I have found them. but not the selection I was used to in the states. and certainly not always the quality or style that I would prefer.
seeing everyone else's perfectly styled and color-coordinated trees on the internet has made me feel a little Charlie Brown. it's hard not to compare. but even though my tree is skimpy on the branches, heavy on the lights, and has no theme other than "here's the best I could do" or maybe "dinosaurs and disco balls"... I love it. in all its lopsided glory.
partially because it only cost me $8 US. but mostly because... it's mine.
and just so you know: under the presents is a Transformers pillowcase we use for a tree skirt. we have a beautiful handmade one that my mother-in-law gave us... but it's back in the states in a rubbermaid bin along with all of my christmas cookie cutters and our beautiful glass ornaments [the ones that wren't broken by the cats, at least.]
we have ornaments that were sent to us by family [the grinch was handmade by my nephews] along with that giant pile of presents sent to us by loved ones. yeah, we've got it pretty good.
last year I made yarn pom pom ornaments to decorate out tree, and created these dino ornaments from keychains we picked up at the Taichung science museum. this year, I found some plastic rainbow disco balls. I think they go better with the dinosaurs.
celebrating holidays while living abroad can be hard, but we do the best we can to keep the expat holiday blues away. Christmas in Taiwan isn't what we grew up on, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. I think our tree is the perfect representation of the blending of "home" and "here" that our traditions have become.