Today, I Work: Real things to celebrate on December 25th

I am so glad I live in Taiwan. I will go to work on Wednesday and teach my students because Tomorrow’s Just Another Day. I will get New Year’s off, and that’s fine with me.

The two worst things I remember about December back in Canada were:

(a) The “participate or shut up” attitude. Saying that you “don’t celebrate xmas” does NOT “ruin other people’s fun” no matter how often they lie. Hearing the same lousy ‘songs’ for three weeks or more is not ‘fun’. Nobody owns December 25th.

(b) Being hostage or going stir crazy. EVERYTHING closes for eight to twelve days and there’s little or nothing to do. The only places open from the 20th to 24th were department stores, and from the 25th to 27th or 28th, only convenience stores and gas stations.  (Canada has boxing day, so everything’s closed on the 26th as well.)  It was bad in the 1990s, but at least there was the internet, and maybe computer games in the 1980s. Imagine how dull life in December was before then. TV was part of the misery.  There was no escape.  (And then add being trapped in a house with a crappy family….)

For those needing a boost, here’s a partial list of genuine historical events that happened on December 25th that are worth noting:


  • 1642: Isaac Newton
  • 1652: Archibald Pitcairne, doctor, author, scholar
  • 1700: Leopold II, Prussian general
  • 1821: Clara Barton, founder of US Red Cross
  • 1876: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan
  • 1899: Humphrey Bogart
  • 1907: Cab Calloway
  • 1918: Anwar Sadat
  • 1924: Rod Serling
  • 1930: Emmanuel Agassi, Iranian boxer, father of Andre Agassi
  • 1949: Sissy Spacek
  • 1954: Annie Lennox
  • 1958: Rickey Henderson
  • 1972: Josh Freese, session drummer (Devo, NIN, etc.)




  1. jrkrideau says

    EVERYTHING closes for eight to twelve days and there’s little or nothing to do.

    It is nowhere as bad as it used to be but on Xmas Day even the closest Timmie’s was closed.

    My local pub continued its tradition of being open for a few hours. It used to be really just a word-of-mouth thing for regulars and one had to sneak in the back door but this year they even had a sign out! It’s attracting riff-raff from the suburbs