From Wintery Minnesota to Warm Malaysia

Giant snowflakes fall like cotton balls from the slate-grey sky, blanketing the ground in heavy whiteness. I slip on my knock-off Ugg boots over my skinny jeans, throw on a cardigan and a scarf and run outside onto my driveway. I let the wet snow fall onto my hair as I twirl, face uplifted to the sky. I stick my tongue out to catch a couple snowflakes and laugh with delight as I’m soon covered in sticky-wet snow from head to toe.


I feel my fingers and nose grow numb, and run back inside to warm up, shaking the snow off my boots by the Christmas tree, enjoying the colorful lights and contemplating how it will soon look as the presents accumulate underneath its branches.


I make a last minute decision and head to the kitchen…determined to make myself a peppermint hot chocolate. I doctor it up with some whipped cream and a couple chocolate chips, then grab a good book and throw a warm fleece blanket over me as I settle onto my comfy couch. What a cozy, wonderful winter afternoon…the best part of a day off in December in Minnesota.


|| Pause.

Here in Malaysia, I have to wake myself up from my daydream. It’s not quite the same. Trade the snow for monsoon rain, the boots for flip flops, the scarf and cardigan for t-shirts, Thai pants and skirts, and the cold for humid heat and constant sweating, and you’ll see that there’s quite the contrast.

While we’re all missing home for Christmas, we also want to make this a holiday to remember. Since we likely won’t be together in Malaysia for Christmas again, it’s time to make the best of it and make memories here :).

The stockings are hanging on air conditioners instead of fireplaces, slowly filling up with little gifts for each other. Christmas music is constantly playing, and it’s beginning to feel festive. Tonight we are putting on a little Christmas performance; we’ll sing a few carols and read a monologue about Jesus’ birth. Many of the people attending tonight haven’t heard the Christmas story and don’t know the real reason for the season. How crazy is that and how cool is this opportunity to get to present it to them?

Know that while I’m missing home this Christmas season, it brings me great joy to know that you’re all experiencing a wonderful white Christmas in Minnesota 🙂

Joy’l to the World from Team Joy’l 🙂


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