(Queenie and Rochelle Putting up the Christmas Tree)
So how did we celebrate?
Well December was as hectic as any festive season month we have known. We started our Christmas celebrations on December 8 when we had a whole bunch of people to our house for an early Christmas party. We had to do it that way because most of them were either booked or we were booked. Our niece Rochelle helped us put up the Christmas tree. Some early guests arrived and helped us finish our tree. More guests arrived before 4:00 pm and most of them were gone by 8:00 pm. Our good friends Eva and Peter kept us company with their precious daughter Christina.
(Rochelle and the gifts she wrapped)
Our next big event was having a family dinner at the Howard Plaza hotel. Queenie’s father came back from China and so on December 19 we all went to the Cantonese restaurant on the second floor and ate a lot of food. After that everyone came to our house to exchange gifts. Of course Rochelle was the most excited during this time and she got quite a few toys. Our other niece Charlene is still to young to appreciate these things but next year I am sure she will start.
The following day was my (Paul) company’s Christmas party. We arranged the party at the Pot Pie Café on Fuhsing South Road (the only place in Taipei that sells real pies). We were about 20 people and, the restaurant being small, enabled us to book the whole restaurant out. The restaurant is new and so they were thrilled to have so much business in one night. We all ordered a lot of food and a few beers and we all had a really great time.
(Peter, Paul and James at Company Christmas Party)
Then on Friday, December 21, we all went off to watch Rochelle’s Christmas show at her kindergarten. The show was held in a park outside. An excellent venue but the kids simply cannot sing loud enough but they certainly did try hard. It seems that they all had fun. Queenie and I spent most of the time walking around the park with Charlene.
On Christmas Eve we all landed up participating in a new Christmas Eve tradition at Peter and Ava's house. We all went there to celebrate and dance around the Christmas tree singing Norwegian folk songs. Of course none of us knows how to speak Norwegian but we tried our best. Rochelle came with us but unfortunately I (uncle Paul) managed to bump her into a glass table and cut her lip. That was the end of the folk songs. Hopefully this year we can do more than one. Oh yes, Rochelle is fine.
(Meichi, Doren, Queenie and Taly)
Our Christmas Day itself we went with our Church friends to a buffet lunch at Le Louvre in the Howard Plaza hotel. Great restaurant and the company wasn’t bad either. Queenie and I also bought everyone a Christmas hat and made sure everyone wore their hat. It was a blast. Of course we had one hat short but the hotel were happy enough to lend us one so everyone got one in the end.
(Kathy, Paul, Roelf and Olga at the Howard Plaza)
Of course New Year’s Eve swung around faster than we could blink our eyes. Queenie and I spent our New Year’s eve in the Pot Pie Café. It was bitterly cold and the pies were very warming. On the way home one of our neighbors called us and invited us to his house so we went there for a few hours. Afterwards we went to the midnight service in the Church (as we always do). We then returned to our friends house party and landed up in bed at around 3:00 am.
On New Year’s Day we also hosted our traditional New Year party at our house. A lot of people came and we had some great food. The Pastor Jim’s wife Bobbie brought their traditional American New Year food to our house. Apparently on New Year’s Day in their part of the world they eat ham, salmon and black bean soup. Well, we had a lot of each. It was really great hanging out with all our friends and spending the New Year with them. After we never know where we will be next year.
Sadly we had to say goodbye to Doren who is one of our wonderful friends here in Taiwan. She decided to return home to Cebu in the Philipinnes. We have known Doren and her Aunt Taly for nearly six years now and they have been wonderful and supportive friends through all our ups and downs. We will miss her but gives us a more compelling reason to visit Cebu (because the beaches are not sufficient reason). Of course we saw her off with a great big bang at our other friend’s Josephine’s house. It was honestly a great farewell.
(Doren's Farewell Party)
In December and January two of our close friends had little babies. Matt and Carol had a baby boy in early December called Daniel. Our friends in New Zealand Simon and Helen also had a boy called Henry. We are so pleased and happy for all of them and we wish those two babies a great life and future.
We also learned that our old friend from Taipei, Pastor Dave and Terri Brown (and all four kids) are thinking about coming back to Taiwan. Of course this excites us and we look forward to seeing them back here if they can get back. They are hoping to start a Church and they do have some needs so if you are interested in supporting them then please check out their website: http://missions4taiwan.com/default.aspx
The Immediate Future:
Chinese will be upon us in a few weeks. We are looking forward to the break. Queenie and I will be traveling to London for two weeks to see my (Paul) mom. We will also see some other great friends there including Richard, Keziah and Noah and Ken. Queenie will possibly also start working for her new company soon. Hopefully it will all be smooth.
So everyone. Take care of yourselves and have a great and rewarding 2008.