Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

A “white” Christmas in Taiwan

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Taiwan
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There will be a “white” Christmas in Tainan, Taiwan this year. As part of an effort to promote tourism in Tainan (former home to our two youngest sons), the city is hosting a White Christmas Festival. The festival features a Christmas tree made entirely of salt – 40 tonnes of salt! – sitting atop more salt to make it appear like a snowy patch. Since the daytime temperatures in Tainan average in the mid-70s right now, a truly white Christmas is very unlikely. The event organizers used salt for the tree and snow effect because Tainan used to be the hub of salt production for Taiwan. Salt apparently is more than just a food enhancer for some Taiwanese, as explained by event organizer Chang Cheng-yuan:

“From a traditional perspective, salt is used to drive away evil spirits and misfortunes and is also a symbol of blessing,” Chang added.

Tainan was once home to the Qigu Salt Pans, which were the largest in Taiwan and produced about 60 percent of the country’s salt.

However, the 338-year history of salt production in Taiwan came to an end in 2002 after the salt fields closed, as the local salt industry was unable to compete with cheap imported salt, the director said.

Chang said visitors to the festival could enjoy a variety of salt products, including salt coffee, salt eggs and creative works of art made of salt, and could even make their own salt at an old salt field.To read the full article in the Taipei Times, click here:

Merry Christmas from our family! We are grateful for all the adoptive families we have met along our journey, through this blog, on Facebook and in our community. The support, the encouragement, the friendships…it all has been such a blessing for our family. May you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! And for the many families waiting to adopt or bring children home, I pray for good news for your families soon.

The wonder of Christmas

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Christmas is less than three weeks away, and I am finding it very hard to get into the mood to do my Christmas shopping. I am more interested in experiencing the Christmas season with my family, rather than trying to find the perfect gift for each person on my list. It is moments like this one pictured below that I want to cherish and enjoy. To see the wonder in my children’s eyes as they take in Christmas, it’s worth more than any gift I could buy or receive.

  • Christmas shopping – done! 
  • Christmas cards – addressed, stamped & mailed! 
  • Christmas decorating – hopefully this week. . .

I must confess I have veered off course for the Grand Holiday Plan.  I am now operating on my own plan. . .which is not quite as structured.  At this point, we have about 24 days until Christmas and I am in a mode of ‘just get it done’.  Christmas shopping is complete, and I am hoping most of the items I ordered online will start arriving this week.  I was looking over our Christmas budget plan for this year and was surprised to see that we came in about 50% under-budget. . .we had to get a bit more creative, but I think our family and friends will enjoy our gifts to them.

I hope to start decorating our house this week.  We will put up a small 4-foot tree for our children a day or two before our big tree goes up.  That way, our children get used to a tree and they have their own ornaments with which they can play. . .and hopefully they will be less interested in the more breakable ornaments on the big tree.  It worked last year, so we’ll see.

On the adoption front, we are in the midst of updating our home study.  I returned to the doctor today to update my medical forms for both our home study and our dossier.  It seems the only thing that has changed since last year is that I have gained a few extra pounds. . .ugh.  I think it’s time for me to set a weight-loss goal as a challenge while we wait for a referral!

It’s Week 12 of the Grand Holiday Plan. Only about 40 days left until Christmas. My holiday shopping is now underway. I have finally found a nice “homemade” gift that will help us save a little money on gifts this year – I would share it here but I don’t know how many family members follow our blog and I don’t want to spoil their surprise. I will share another gift idea with you, though – the White House Historical Association issues a new ornament each year. I have all of them for the last twenty years or so. This year’s ornament features the presidency of Benjamin Harrison and is really beautiful. 
2008 White House Historical Association Ornament

2008 White House Historical Association Ornament

We have started receiving invitations and our calendar for December is beginning to fill up. Is it just me or does everyone seem to plan their holiday event for the first week of December? We have at least three events on our calendar during that first week. Dave is also finishing up his semester for his Masters program and we are having our home study updated in December.

As for holiday prep, I have designed and printed our Christmas cards and purchased postage. I still need to write our annual Christmas newsletter, and hope to have that completed this week. The cards will go out right after Thanksgiving. I have fallen behind in cleaning but the Grand Holiday Plan has helped me see the areas where de-cluttering is needed. I think my work on the plan will continue well into the new year, specifically with identifying an area each week with which to focus and de-clutter.

This week, the plan calls for cleaning the attic — that is something Dave and I already planned to do as a spring project. I will go up there this week to assess the location of our Christmas tree and decorations. I will also make a grocery list this week and hope to get most of the food picked up for Thanksgiving next week. Dave is hoping to smoke our turkey on the grill this year and I am looking forward to all of the turkey leftovers after the holiday – delicious!