This year we chose to celebrate Christmas Latin style. It was exhausting, but so much fun! We fed the kids early in the eveningâ€”peanut butter and jelly! They got a few fun gifts out of their stockings and then went to bed. Yippee!
Kevin picked up the Beijing kao ya (Beijing roasted duck) and once everyone got here we ate around 10:30pm. There was SO. MUCH. FOOD. Duck, potatoes, 4 Chinese dishes, black beans, rice, salad, fruit soup, pieâ€¦ I didnâ€™t make it all. All the Chinese dishes were ordered.
Everyone was so tired, but determined to stay up. We played a few games. Around midnight I placed baby Jesus in our manger set. Itâ€™s Latin/Catholic tradition to keep baby Jesus out of the nativity set until the 24th midnight when he is born (supposedly). I momentarily forgot where I had put him to keep him safe, and after a few moments of frantic looking found Him. â˜º We talked, watched TV, watched movies, and finally around 4 am fell asleep.
I wasn’t sure how long people would stay around in the morning, and, of course, the kids were up early. Ugghh! It seemed that no one wanted to leave. Even after breakfast of gallo pinto (black beans and rice mixed and fried together). So we sang some carols in English and Spanish. Had MaLin read the story in Chinese while we pathetically acted it out. Everyone left around 10am. Then we let the kids open their gifts.
Our Christmas was well celebrated.
For expats living in China the holiday season is only getting started. It begins (for us) with Thanksgiving and ends Feb 17 with the Lantern Festival (technically Chinese New Year end March 3, but life is pretty much back to normal after the L Fest).
Love and blessing for a new year!