Yep, my annual blogging hiatus is in full effect. Though I know my family is not my only readers, they are the ones whom I think of when I write. This makes writing here, when they’re sitting about 10 feet from me, a little more difficult. I will be back in full force the first week in January.
Here is a nice video I saw at Matt’s church. I don’t think the music adds much, so feel free to watch with the sound turned off:
We had some engineers from my parent’s new company over for Christmas dinner. It was weird to be on the other side of cultural explanations; the engineers are Chinese expats working in California for a few weeks, months, or years before returning to Shenzhen. That is, they are exactly in the same position I was while I lived in Qatar. As my parents explained why we were praying before eating–remember: China is a formally agnostic state–I had a flash back to the dozens of times a friend in Qatar quietly explained something cultural to me. I felt my mind reaching for the familiar feeling of being a stranger in a changed world, but kept on being dragged back to the realization that I was a member and representative of the strange culture in question. Not a comfortable feeling.
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”–Charles Dickens