|US Embassy, Phnom Penh, Christmas Eve|
In the week before the holidays we put up a small Christmas tree in our apartment, hung a couple of big red Christmas stockings on wall next to the tree and tacked some garland and fairy lights around the front door. Polly seemed fascinated by the whole process, as an anthropologist might, observing and studying some exotic foreign ritual.
Christmas morning we all exchanged gifts, one small gift to me being a pair of mitt-style potholders (I like to cook.) After opening gifts and the usual Christmas morning activities, my wife and I went out to a restaurant for breakfast. Upon returning home a hour later we found that the maid, in a sincere attempt to join in the Christmas doings, had hung the new potholders on the wall with the Christmas stockings. I guess, for somebody who had no real idea but was trying to follow the logic of the tradition, it probably made a good sense to hang the giant mittens on the wall next to the giant socks. Clueless but cute, and in the right spirit regardless. We left the potholders there until we took all the decorations down a week and a half later.