The Most Wonderful Time of Year / by Joshua P Jacks

This busy season has followed us all the way to Laos!  Although it doesn’t have the same appearance as that in the states around this time, our schedules have been full!

Josh finished up his finals last Friday for his first semester teaching.  He will be teaching an additional class next semester, which means he will have 2 classes.  He has grown so close to his students he thought about failing them all just so he gets them next semester!

We have had our weekends full of Christmas celebrations.  We had Josh’s class over and then our scholarship students had their own Christmas party.  They even did some native dances for us!  The looks on their faces when they received their gifts was just really cool to see.  It was all things they needed.  The boys got a jacket, scarf, and a shirt.  The girls got similar, clothes is what they received.  It wasn’t for style or even a pair of boots they have been window shopping for all year.. But it was given because the clothes they do have holes, or aren’t warm enough.  I look at my closet even here in Laos and realize how much I have that I don’t need.   I think back to the many Christmas’ where I counted the present under the tree to see how many had my name on them compared to how many had my sister’s name on them. 

I welcome the excitement of Christmas and all its traditions.  But looking at it from a fresh new perspective this year in a country that even the Christians don’t celebrate Christmas with presents and trees, I wonder what I want Christmas to look like for Noah and any other Children I might have.

I do want him to have some elements of excitement with presents and such but really this next year I am planning on figuring out what this season will look like for our family.

On to other things. (Sorry that was just few of my thoughts that have been whirling around in this head of mine.) Yesterday we attended our first Lao wedding.  It was a Christian Lao wedding so some things were similar, but with a Lao twist.  (I.e. the wedding cake was banana’s and we all sat around and ate one as the bride and groom fed each other one.)

We were all dressed mighty fine if I do say so myself (this being before Noah manage to break my necklace and take two buttons off of my shirt). Well, Noah didn't have shoes haha.  It was just one of those moments that I had a blonde moment.  It just so happened to be when we were outside all morning and it had a rather chill breeze in the air. Poor guy! 

Tonight we have our ARDA staff Christmas party.  Last party of the year.  We will be heading to Thailand for the Holidays.  We are excited to eat Burger King and walk around a store with a cart!  Well at least that is what I am most excited about. 

More to come about the holiday celebrations!  We hope that you and your families all have safe and happy holidays, filled with memories made.  Please try to slow down and enjoy the time!