Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been a whirlwind of a holiday season here. And so we belatedly wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Although China has all the trappings of a commercial Christmas for sale – Santa Claus decorations, fake trees and ornaments, tinsel and garlands galore, and even the street sweeping machines, which usually play “Happy Birthday” to signal their coming, switched to “Jingle Bells” for the Christmas season – it is still business as usual here. So we tried to balance our work commitments and attempted to celebrate Christmas as best as possible! We have a tiny tree set up in our apartment, along with a wreath on the door. Liz made fudge, and we made a special meal or two during the holiday week with friends. Leo enjoyed the time as well and received a few new toys. We took him to the Toys ‘R Us in town on Christmas Day after going to church as a treat – He LOVES that place and can play on all of their toys (in the heated warmth of the store) for free. He made his first solo trip down the play slide that day and loved it – brave boy!

We found out that many people here do celebrate Christmas, but mostly as an opportunity to go out and ‘play’. Our students and friends tell us it’s especially very trendy for young adults and teens to celebrate Christmas. Liz found this out when she arrived on Christmas Day to teach for four hours and only had a few students in each of her classes. She scrapped her formal lesson plan and taught her students “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” – which was a lot more fun than teaching them about gerunds and present progressives! She also shared with everyone her family’s Christmas traditions. They were especially impressed to hear that her family sometimes went out into the woods and chopped down their own fresh Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

We dearly missed all of our family and friends this year! It is very different to celebrate Christmas here, but it was nonetheless special. Holding on to our own traditions while we learn another country’s traditions has become more important to us as this first year in China passes.

Our thoughts are with you and have been this holiday season.


1 Response to “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

  1. 1 Becca G. January 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    You are dearly missed stateside and warm wishes were sent your way on your Anniversary!

    Love you guys!

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