Merry TCK Christmas

“You really are a TCK aren’t you???”

I chuckled when my “host-mama” asked me that question. Apparently, I have all the personality of being a “TCK” – a Third Culture Kid. Though my heart understands what that means, my Spirit fights against it.

I grew up resonating more with the culture my parents served in as missionaries than I ever did in the setting where all my friends looked like me. I’d come back to my “White-life” and be intensely confused why I didn’t fit in anymore. But I was okay with not fitting in. I learned to laugh when Caucasian friends quipped dramatically, “Hey! You’re WHITE! Act like it!”

Okay… how?

A lot of my confusion and processing was because I was young enough to be impacted by everything I saw. It wasn’t very black and white in my mind what applied to me as a kid and what didn’t apply… I loved sharing my heart with two cultures.

I didn’t fit into either one.

Though it is just my opinion, I think “TCKs” feel their differences the most around the holidays. Every culture has their traditions. As a TCK, you never really know what your mind and heart is supposed to feel when Christmas comes around. I’m white… so Christmas trees, presents, Jesus and the manger it is. My heart still attests to the people I grew up with, so though traditions may be similar, they’re not the same.

I’m 25, I haven’t “done life” in the Culture of my Heart in almost 9 years. But I still battle the need to know how to feel about Christmas without someone else that tells the same stories, dances the same dances and sings the same songs that I’m mentally rehearsing simply because it’s a precious memory.

I’m a TCK- I can deal with that. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but… what do I do about Jesus? In the culture of my heart, Jesus is still Jesus… He’s God’s Son, He’s the Gift I’ll never be able to match, run away from or understand completely.

But Christmas feels different now that I’m the majority rather than the minority. I’ve never been able to say that out loud. I don’t know if I can even now.

As I was observing my jumbled TCK thoughts this morning, I could almost hear my Christ remind me that I didn’t have to completely understand a Savior that spanned cultures and traditions.

He did, after all, create every culture though they “see” him differently. I just had a small period in my life where I was given the chance to see Him in more than one at the same time.


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