I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. It has been a whirlwind for us between Christmas, New Year, cleaning up our new apartment, moving out of the hotel, moving into our apartment and getting unpacked. I AM E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D.
Christmas this year was, of course, nothing like the past. But against all odds and the kids’ great anxiety that he would not be able to find us on the 20th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, Santa came through! It was a humble celebration, with only a few gifts, but at least the fat guy showed!
The people of Hong Kong love any excuse to decorate and celebrate. Christmas is no exception. Here are a few pictures we took of some of the decorations they had up in the city.
It is all very beautiful and a tad bit excessive, but, to me, felt a little hollow. It’s like a huge celebration without really knowing what everyone is getting all excited about. No manger scenes, wise men or even the obligatory bumper sticker imploring us to “Remember the Reason for the Season.” To me, there was just something missing that could not be adequately concealed with all that glitz and dazzle. <sigh>
Benjy had to work Christmas Eve, but the kids and I spent a delightful evening with some new friends. They also happen to be our neighbors upstairs and have been so kind, generous and helpful. They have truly been a blessing to us!
You may be disappointed to know that our first New Year in Hong Kong was spent with all of our heads comfortably on our pillows by 11:00 p.m. We simply were too exhausted from moving into our apartment to even consider fighting the crowds to watch the fireworks over the harbor. We were told the fireworks show at New Years was 8 minutes long, but the fireworks show for Chinese New Year will be 35 minutes long. Now that’s a lot of fireworks! So, we opted to brave the crowds for that show instead. I may live to regret that decision later.
When I look back at our 2013, I am astounded by all of the life-altering changes we have undergone: homeschooling, job transfer, packing up our house, moving across the globe, living in a hotel and adjusting to living in a foreign country, just to name a few. It’s enough to make my head spin. If I were the person I was 10 years ago, you probably would have found me long ago under my bed, in a fetal position with my fingers plugging my ears and drool streaming out of the side of my mouth as I incessantly hum the theme song from “Love Boat.” I surprise even myself how we’ve taken it all in stride. And that brings to mind one of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Benjy, Webley, Aaron and I wish all of you in 2014 the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.