Ten years ago I spent Christmas with my family in Disneyland. It was a magical time to be there.
Ten years on I am in another country again for Christmas, but not with family this time.
Disneyland glittered with colours and lights, with fairytale creatures and wonder.
Nauru glitters in a different way:
Stores have tinsel and decorations for sale, foil Christmas trees propped against doorways.
Fairy lights in blues and yellows festoon the frangipani trees.
Coconuts are wrapped in shiny foil paper to look like large lollies lining driveways and garden beds.
Dozens of CDs hang from trees, glistening with many colours in both sunlight and car lights.
Paper lanterns hang in abundance from doorways and trees.
Boxes wrapped in shiny paper are placed under trees to look like oversize presents.
Blow-up Santas sit outside shops or in doorways of homes or perch on rooftops.
Foil Christmas trees sparkle in the tropical sun.
Christmas Eve carols are held under the frangipani trees. Real candles are lit and frangipani leaves wrapped around as candle-holders.
A sign outside one business declares “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Another sign that sits near one of the hotels tells us all “Jesus is God’s Free Gift.”
BBQ breakfast by the ocean. Staff lunch of roast pork and crackling, roast turkey. Fruit in abundance. Bombe Alaska; pavlova with mango and cherries. Christmas party at night – bugs and scallops and oysters and freshly cooked fish.
I missed my family. I found new meaning in the coming King. I had fun with new friends.
Christmas is Christmas. It’s one day that comes and goes. Different this year to any other year.
But still good.