I was at work today though I have next week off. Lots of my students wished me a merry Christmas before saying they'd see me next week. They will be working and whilst they weren't exactly surprised that I won't be they didn't take it for granted that I'd be off. Christmas is just another holiday here not the huge event that it is in the UK.
My boss suggested to me that I should theme this week's out of office lessons around Christmas. I tried but there was a cultural mis match. Talking about Slade and Wizard songs, office Christmas parties, the Christmas Day James Bond film or Christmas tree lights has been an uphill struggle.
Quite rightly Slade and Wizard are unknown here but so are the wine in paper cup and photocopier incident office Christmas parties. White Christmas didn't ring bells as a song title but most knew the tune when I played it. Fairy lights and Christmas trees exist, indeed they are widespread, but at least half of my students do not have a Christmas tree in their house. They're not actually that sure about the details of the Christmas story either - Jerusalem got easily as many votes as Bethlehem as the site for the birthplace of the baby Jesus.
Trying to have a discussion about what people have for Christmas dinner was a bit like asking for a favourite number. There are a lot of numbers. But there was one thing, almost a constant. Prawns. And, of course, for prawns you will need lemons.
I may have more to say before the day but, just in case I don't get the opportunity again, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas