Sunday, December 13, 2009


Although I can't be home for Christmas to enjoy all the celebrating of the season, I have come to the conclusion that Christmas can be celebrated anywhere at any time. Yesterday was the first Christmas party I've ever hosted in China. I invited all the teachers from my school and any of their friends that they wanted to bring. Since my apartment is relatively small, I wasn't sure if it could hold everyone, but I was willing to see just how many we could cram into my living room. This is never a problem for the Chinese. They are used to being crammed into small spaces! Fortunately, there were only 12 of us in total, but it made for a fun time. We had a blast acting out "The 12 Days of Christmas" as we sang the song karaoke style! We had a scavenger hunt race to look all over my apartment for pictures and texts from the Christmas Story and then, after sequencing everything in the right order, we listened as one of the women read it aloud to the group . After some yummy snacks, we made gorgeous glass bead bracelets. This was my Christmas gift to them, drawing analogies about making their bracelet to how they were each created with specific gifts and talents which make them beautiful, and valuable and loved. We laughed, shared, and got answers to questions. We ended the afternoon a "White Elephant" gift exchange, which was actually pretty funny because no one quite understood that "White Elephant" gifts are supposed to be useless, ugly, used things, so people actually brought some not so bad stuff! I will say it was a ton of work putting all of this together, but the truth is, I loved it ...and the result was really great! A lot of gals heard new ideas that they had not heard or understood before and were really touched by the stories and my gift to them. It is easy for me to get sad about not being home with my family, not being able to celebrate with fellowships, and feel lonely being here with only a few other foreigners; but I am really thankful for these opportunities to share the meaning of Christmas with my teachers and other Chinese friends. The greatest gift was already given to me and I am grateful that I have this gift to share with them. It's an amazing gift that money cannot buy...and it's not a "white elephant."



Barb said...

Sounds like a lot of fun and a wonderful celebration! BTW - in my family the White Elephant is nothing but a nice gift - no gag gifts allowed. We use this game to take the place of a gift-exchange, which never works in my family. For some reason the White Elephant gift works, and every adult gets to go home with something nice and useful. Merry Christmas, Lindy!