Twas the Day After Christmas

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My own studio apartment to decorate, finding real potted Christmas trees at the grocery store, kindergarten Christmas program at school, Christmas pancakes for my small group, a weekend full of Christmas bustle at church, planning Aroma’s first “children’s Christmas program”, a Christmas-themed book club-like gathering, Christmas Eve treats, Christmas movies, Christmas Day, working on Christmas day for the first in Taiwan (!!!), making new Christmas playlists. Feeling a little more nostalgic since I got to be home for Christmas last year. Christmas can be a chaotic time of the year for a lot of people. 

Living in Taiwan has taught me that things like Christmas are truly a matter of the heart – and truth. Holidays are external things, but we must choose to let the true meaning of times like this to ignite our Christmas Spirit, especially when the world around you doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.

So I “re-wrote” a classic Christmas poem to express and describe my the feelings I experienced about Christmas this year, specifially here in Taiwan. Enjoy.

Twas the Day After Christmas, when all through the house
All the lights were still blinking, none of them put out.
The stockings still hung, and evergreen infused the air,
Pieces of gift wrap evidenced that St. Nicholas had been there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While they clutched their new toys and dreamed of what was ahead.
And family in America, and I in Taiwan
Were settled in front of screens to get our Xmas chat on

When out in the world people were scattered
Spreading Christmas cheer and getting fatter
I sat in my bed listening to the voices
That described my family’s Christmas gift choices

Outside on Taipei City the rain fell
Where the Christmas holiday was hard to tell
Christmas day had certainly appeared
But people don’t pay much attention to that here

Bus drivers, driving across the city precariously quick
Donned Santa hats to dress up as St. Nick
And store fronts put up trees and lights
So people could stroll about enjoying the sights:

Red and green and pink and purple
Festive hats glued to puppies and turtles
Christmas shows and Christmas songs
Were thrown and played to please the throngs
Ribbons and glitter manipulated for the season
Pictures were taken in front of fake trees for no apparent reason
Figures of reindeers, Santa and fake snow
All danced together in a synthetic holiday glow

I sat on my bed under the covers
Listening to the voices of my sister, father, and mother
My window of technology had been blurred
And for the poor video connection there was no cure

And so twas the day after Christmas, when I sat in my house
All the lights were still blinking, none of them put out
I wished my family a Merry Christmas and laid back down in bed
Visions of past holiday festivities danced in my head

And then I thought how the story of Christmas is indeed truly sad
The savior, a king is to be born, by a virgin to be had
When in accordance with Roman decree an inconvenient and long journey suddenly lies ahead
Upon reaching the destination, the expecting mother doesn’t even get a bed

Though a beautiful and mysterious star hangs in the sky to announce the baby king’s arrival
Only astrologers from a far away land follow the sign and unknowingly bring good news to a rival
This leads to the execution of babes all over the land
Because King Herod will not be replaced by an unknown man

But through the hardships that faced Joseph and Mary
The Angel Gabriel shone his golden light and bade them not to be wary
God in heaven, the father of the baby, could be trusted
He would protect them, the courage to believe they must muster

Choruses of angels singing of the Savior’s birth
Astrologers from the East gifting a child with frankincense, incense, and myrrh
An Israelite man raising a Son that would not carry on his line
All of this proving the prophet’s words, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”

And so I sat there, surrounded by a sea of modern Christmas noise
Another December 25th had come and gone, more money had been spent, children had more toys
But the true meaning of Christmas rose above all this
The meaning that all of the lights and music and presents so often miss

Thank you, Father in Heaven, that your Son was born
Thank you that He died so that the dividing curtain was torn
Thank you for the miracle of life that is every birth
And the resurrection that has made this miracle possibly for everyone here on earth.

Merry Christmas!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

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