Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ten Ponderings of Christmas in China


          Christmas and New Years are over, and the world mourns and diets. I have officially experienced my first holiday season in China, and my first Christmas ever without my family. During the jubilation that is Christmas, I had a few thoughts, and revelations, and I decided to share them with you all.

1. The so called "war on Chistmas," yeah that's not a thing!

 Remarkably, spending Christmas in a country where the holiday isn't nationally recognized, did absolutely nothing to hinder me from personally celebrating Christmas! I know right! In fact, it might even have heightened my awareness of why I celebrate in the first place. An unregenerate person, wishing me a merry Christmas, and handing me a red cup with Santa on it: that's commercialism, not Christmas. And China has plenty of Christmas commercialism to enjoy anyway.

2. Jingle Bells and We Wish You Merry Christmas are the only Christmas songs that China knows, and they play them on repeat...all.day.long.

3. Most of the highs and lows at Christmas are dependent on comparison. It seems to me that our experience of Christmas is dependent on what we think it should be, after comparing our experience to what we see on T.V. or the people around us. As I mentioned, this was my first ever Christmas apart from my family. Surprisingly, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. After thinking about it for awhile, I concluded that the fact I'm China, where they don't celebrate Christmas is the key factor. The day still seemed special, because while the country went to work, and carried on as usual, I got to go have a nice dinner with my friends. If I had been in the States, watching others celebrate with their families, it would have been a different story. Indeed the only time when I had the Christmas blues, was when I logged into Facebook.

4. Traditions are important, even when you're thousands of miles away. Whether it's making sugar cookies or watching The Muppets Christmas Carol, traditions keep us aware of where we come from, and who we're going to be.

5. A Christmas tree makes all the difference. I haven't quite made my apartment my own yet, but adding a Christmas tree, suddenly made my living room a place I wanted to be. 

6. People freaking love Christmas music. My playlists on Spotify, have never had very many followers, but my Christmas playlist kind of soared in popularity this year. Huzzah!

7. Minion Monopoly is much more fun than dummy regular Monopoly. My sister Abby kind of loves minions, and so the majority of her presents this year were minion related. One such gift was Minion Monopoly. This is a thing that exists. Falling asleep, while listening to my family play this game over Skype, was my best Christmas memory this year.

8. I love being a kindergarten teacher at Christmas. It means you get to dress up in a red coat and hat and give sweets and toys to cutie Chinese children. Bring on the happiness!

9. Chinese New Year! My holiday season extends well into February. I guess the decorations get to stay up that long too!

10. The Incarnation is where it's at. Extra points to those who know who coined that phrase. I spent most of December contemplating, just how bizarre, miraculous and pinnacle the truth of the incarnation is. What difference does the divinity of Christ make to the life of the believer? The answer: it makes all the difference. 

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, He has made Him known
John 1:18

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Bring on 2016; it's going to be epic!


  1. Hi Leah! I feel like Im still catching up with life after returning back to the states from couple years overseas with ywam but so happy we are still connected through the SM waves... How exciting that you are in China now woww! You are teaching kindergarten? Is this through a Teaching Foreign exchange organization? I wish you the merriest and most memorable, adventure filled years ahead! xxJeanine

  2. Thanks Jeanine! It's so great to hear from you again. So are you finished with ywam now? I am in China! The kindergarten is hopefully temporary. I'm aiming for a university job in China, but we'll see how it goes. Right now the kindergarten is a lot of fun. Hope you had a great Christmas!


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