Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our first China Christmas

Santa came to China this year, and delivered tailor-made Christmas jammies for the whole lot of us. (Mine bear the lyrics to "Deck the Halls"-- in real English, which was a priceless find on the Tianjin market)

No one leaped out of bed with excited anticipation on Christmas morning. Actually, we considered postponing gift exchanges and waiting for a morning on which we'd feel less exhausted, but after lights and music set the mood, we dragged ourselves up (but didn't even need to get out of bed!) to open presents.

Ellie only looks mildly pleased with her play-doh because she'd already opened it about a dozen times prior to this. No patience for surprises, just like her dad and Goodwin aunties.

Didi was the least convinced that Christmas presents were worth waking for. His mind is fairly easy to read:

"Tell me again why I woke up to unwrap this."

"I can't believe all you gave me for Christmas is baby food."

"Mom, why'd you use that picture of me on Dad's mug? It's so embarrassing!"

"Oh well. Mugs are at least good for sucking on--let me get to it, Dad."

"This better not be more baby food."

"And on to the tastier times of Christmas!"

And here's our Christmas morning aftermath. Tamer than I've ever previously experienced, and I even had an ayi to clean it all up.

We spent the rest of the morning at work with Kyle, teaching Christmas songs and games to his students.

Chris and Emily Hardy had us over for a scrumptious pot roast Christmas dinner. If you think that sounds delicious, multiply it by four months of no American home-cooked meals and you'll get a sense of how thrilled we were.

And Christmas was topped off with some rousing rounds of everybody's favorite party game: Pit!

We had a lovely holiday, though it just couldn't be the same without the companionship of all our family (and Mom Goodwin's pumpkin marshmallows). Nevertheless, this year I learned that the spirit of Christmas must come from within. There were no concerts, pageants, parties, lights, snowmen, songs, and festivities to facilitate my Christmas cheer. That also meant there was no excessive commercialism plaguing the season. Anyway, it made time for us to reflect a bit more than we have in years past about what Christmas and the birth that it celebrates means to us. We hope you all enjoyed a merry Christmas. We think of our friends and family often and miss you all much.


S. said...

What a coincidence--Santa brought baby food to Nora, too! That first picture of Didi is priceless: reminds me of Anton Ego the food critic.

nimbus said...

Those are some cute kids you have. It looks like your first Chinese Christmas will be a memorable one.

blaine and michelle said...

Merry Christmas! I love Erik's faces. I laughed so hard and then read it to Blaine. Miss you guys. I'm glad you got a good ol' American pot roast Christmas dinner.

Joe and Christie said...

Ahahahaha! I can't get over those hilarious Didi shots! Looks like a great day.