Christmas Eve in China

Christmas Eve morning and I was feeling a little down.

I should be in my warm and toasty home, surrounded by Christmas decorations, the smell of pine and my family. Instead, here I was in my cold, Chinese apartment with a broken heat blanket and ugly, wet rain outside. Yuck.

‘It won’t help matters if I sit here and mope about it,’ I thought, so instead I slowly crawled out of bed, got dressed and decided to get myself a christmas treat:

Santa bread and tiramisu hot chocolate

Once I finished my little Christmas treat, I was in much better spirits. I had about two hours to spare and then it was time to go to Aston for our big meeting. Tomorrow, we are doing a club activity for Christmas with all the students. We will be going to a local island for a Christmas brunch and during the brunch, we’ll play English language games.

Nativity Scene with live pigeons

Since Darius and I are both new teachers (as well as the only two teachers) our boss told us that we are basically going to be on display the entire time. Looks like I’ll be fueling up on coffee tomorrow!

The meeting lasted a long time, but fortunately I received an early Christmas present: Both of my classes were cancelled! (Don’t tell my school I said that.)

Done with school for the day, it was time to get into the Christmas spirit!

Astrid and I had made plans to attend church tonight for Christmas Eve mass. Before that though, we went to her friends house for a family dinner. The host was from the Philippines so I got to sample traditional Christmas food from her country, including pasta. It’s been so long since I’ve had pasta!

The Bishop

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long because we were already late for church, but it was simply wonderful to be surrounded by family on Christmas Eve. It definitely put me into more of a holiday spirit.

We arrived at church very late and to be honest, neither of us had any idea what part of the mass we were in, or if they were even still saying mass. After about twenty minutes and still no idea where we should be following along in our English bibles, we said a prayer and left. We did however, get a goody basket of cookies, dates and dried peas for attending!

Still really hungry since we didn’t have time to eat much earlier, we decided to have our own Christmas Eve dinner. We took a bike taxi and rode over to one of Astrid’s favorite restaurants, I think it was called City House or something.

Christmas Eve dinner with Astrid

After looking at their ‘Christmas Eve prices’ I was little hesitant, but once our food arrived, all reservations vanished. It’s okay to splurge on Christmas Eve, especially when the food is this good!

Sweet potato balls, eggplant and vegetables, glazed mango and rose tea. It was so fancy, exquisite and delicious and, now that I think about it, not even close to being expensive, about $12.00 each. Sometimes it still takes me a while to grasp conversion rates in China!

An enjoyable evening with a great new friend, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend Christmas Eve when I’m so far from home.

After our meal we went to the foreign bar for the big Christmas Eve party. I was too full and sleepy to stay long, but it was still fun to see everyone completely decked out in their Chinese-Christmaswear.

And even more fun, when India let me try her Christmas costume on:

Merry Christmas Eve!

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