This year for some reason the Christmas decorations and music seem to be even more prevalent than in years past. I’ve bopped to Jingle Bell Rock in the elevator going to see a client and heard Feliz Navidad while having lunch with a co-worker.
Lights and Santa Claus statues and all kinds of strange wrapped presents are on the street and I just got an email from Time Out Shanghai emphasizing the different Christmas markets this year – and markets is plural. Starbucks has the Christmas drinks and even peppermint hot chocolate!
Visiting here, someone who doesn’t know about the culture of China would probably think that they actually celebrate Christmas here.
That is actually not true.
I hypothesize that if I stopped 10 people on the street and asked them what they think Christmas is and what it means I would get many different answers, but the probability of them being correct would be pretty low. It is kind of like weddings in China – people do a lot of things that look like western weddings but don’t know what those things actually represent or the stories behind them. I can get very cynical about this.
But, since I am going home for Christmas this year – instead I am enjoying the music and lights and decorations. I am considering them my own personal holiday prep getting me ready for the real deal back in the States. It’s the holiday season!
The link above is to the song Happy Holiday by Andy Williams. My first Christmas in China my roommate really loved this song and we probably listened to it 100s of times over the month of December. It now has become a great memory and a true sign for me of Christmas.
Have you celebrated Christmas in a place where it is not traditionally celebrated? What type of interesting traditions did you observe?