Deck the Harr’s with Berr’s of Horry…farararara ra ra ra ra!

This blog is about Christmas in China! …or lack there of.

*Sigh*. There is no Christmas celebration in China. Well, there is amongst the foreigners. But the majority of Chinese people don’t celebrate Christmas because, obviously, the majority of Chinese people aren’t Christian. They know what Christmas is, public places like malls and restaurants decorate with trees, tinsel and signs, and I hear Christmas music all the time (to be fair, they play Christmas music all year round, I’m not sure they know what the songs meant for). They know about Jesus Christ, Father Christmas and the significance of decorating the tree. My students even know the lyrics to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”. But they don’t celebrate it as a holiday, most people don’t get the day off of work, and theres no festive cheer or feelings to be found. It’s kind of depressing! I think EF is the only school that gives Christmas day off to it’s employees, AND we’re having a pajama Christmas party tomorrow night for 200 students. It’s very much like the Halloween party, except instead of costumes we wear our pajama’s. The show will be 2 hours and chalk-full of games/activities/singing. I’m pretty sure I accidentally volunteered to do something on stage in front of everyone because a few PAs were asking something of me and I said yes without really understanding what they were talking about. The only words I understood  were “Christmas party” and “catwalk”. Oh dear…this will be interesting. After the party, we eat!!!! Chinese food though, not turkey. WAAANNN

So that being said, I am doing my best to bring the holiday spirit to my life in Hohhot because this is my first (and hopefully last) Christmas away from home and my family. Tamlyn and I bought a mini-christmas tree, put it up and decorated it in our living room. I downloaded about 50 Christmas songs and blast the playlist whenever I’m near my computer. I’ve received a couple of Christmas parcels from friends and family in Canada and have carefully placed them near our tree (the tree is too small to put anything under) to be opened on Christmas morning. I made my students make Christmas cards for their families to both educate them and waste 20 minutes of class time. I bought a couple of Christmas movies at the DVD shop and have attempted to watch at least one every night. Tamlyn and I are having some other foreign friends over Christmas Eve to watch movies and Christmas morning to have Christmas breakfast before we fly out to Shanghai. I’ve done everything I can to make my Christmas away from home and country as comfortable as possible! But I am well aware that it wont be nearly as wonderful as it would be at home.

This Christmas will be different because, besides the fact that I’m in China, I will be flying to a different city on Christmas day! Christmas morning myself, Tamlyn and Roxy will fly to Shanghai for a few days of holiday shopping, sightseeing and touring! I’m really excited about this because I haven’t been able to leave Hohhot since the Beijing trip in October, and I’ve never been to Shanghai and hear nothing but AMAZING things! Like in Beijing, we’ll be meeting up with Derek again because he’s there with his brother for Christmas. I’m glad for this because hanging out with some Allens will be an extra special touch of my traditional Christmas at home. This will be my last update until I’m back (Thursday morning) and I promise to give you a full breakdown of my adventure in Shanghai!

Until then, Merry Merry Merry Christmas to you! I hope it’s full of joy, love, family, friends and, of course, western food like mashed potatoes, turkey and Christmas trifle!!

xoxo

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debra vanderwey
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 02:17:09

    O

    Reply

  2. Debra vanderwey
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 02:19:14

    Hey steph
    Have a great trip to Singapore. Merry Christmas and happy new year. I enjoy reading about your adventures.

    Reply

  3. Tricia Allan
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 09:39:28

    Weird Christmas for Ken & me too Steph! We’re jumping on a plane tomorrow morning to head to S.Ont. to spend Christmas with our moms. No boys, no Chows. And probably no trifle. We’ll have to see if we can remedy all that next year.(although it is comforting to me to know that you’ll see the guys:))

    Merry Christmas,
    Tricia

    Reply

  4. Gail Johnson
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 20:26:16

    Thanks for your Christmas message. Will be having Christmas Eve supper at Marilyn’s, then probably ride over to Kenora to see all the candles lite at the cemetery. It makes a wonderful site as there will be more than 5,000 candles lite that night. Wish everyone there a Merry Christmas for me and especially the Allan boys.

    Love Nan

    Reply

  5. maryanne
    Dec 25, 2011 @ 01:17:12

    U will LOVE Shanghai….and so great to be with 2 brother-canucks!!!
    enjoy!! HO HO HO

    Reply

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