Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Christmas in...April?

One of the quirky parts of life overseas is that Christmas comes at the oddest times. I just finished reading all the Christmas cards that our friends sent to our Indonesian address while we were in the States on furlough.

Sometimes we get them by Christmas, but normally, we get the cards in January, due to the fact that mail takes so long to get here. I like to save the cards for the following Christmas to use to decorate for the season.

So, today as I sat reading the cards decorated with borders of snowflakes or red and green, I had to think really hard about what month it is. And I was feeling pretty Christmasy. Due to the fact that we have no change of seasons here, it looks the same whether it is December or July. So, I have a hard time keeping track of the months. I’m also used to thinking of Christmas in a non-traditional way—not with snow and cozy fires, but with heat, and palm trees. So, I’ve gotten pretty good about turning on the Christmas spirit when it feels like summer.

I usually have to plan way ahead of time to get gifts for my family back in the States and for Brad and Evan here. My shopping countdown for Christmas day begins the day after Christmas, for the next Christmas, as I look for ways to get gifts (like when we’re on vacation in a bigger city, or in the States for furlough) and ways to get the gifts to the appropriate person, even if they live on the other side of the world.

My family does the same. My mom bought Christmas gifts for us for next Christmas back in January, to send in a crate that we are having shipped to our home here in Indonesia. It still hasn’t arrived yet, but hopefully will in time for Christmas. If it comes soon (which we hope it does), I may not be able to resist the urge to have an early Christmas and look in the boxes my mom included. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding.)

After all, with the 95-degree weather we’ve been having, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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