Countdown to the holidays

By Leila Hashemi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/13 19:38:39

I have a countdown page that I follow online. "Only seven more Sundays till Christmas," it read. What? How did time go by so fast!

When I lived in the US, it was as if every holiday had thrown up inside each store, TV commercial and even on people's outfits. However, in China, holidays are not as commercialized, so you need to put some extra effort into it.

I love this time of year, so I have made it my personal goal to make sure that I keep the holiday spirit alive.

I was so excited last year because I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with a Chinese friend who had never celebrated it before. As our small group clinked glasses and took turns telling each other what we were thankful for, I could feel the warmth in my heart.

I take a more over-the-top approach toward Christmas. If I were home, I would have a tree up at the stroke of midnight on Halloween and Christmas music playing morning till night.

Last year, I bought a lot of Christmas decorations on and turned my apartment into a little winter wonderland.

When my expat friends said that many of them hadn't celebrated Christmas in years and some of my Chinese friends mentioned never celebrating it at all, I couldn't stand for that. I decided that no one should go without Christmas and organized a party at my house on Christmas day.

That day, the table was filled with traditional Christmas foods, Chinese treats and enough wine to drown an army. There were no gifts, no milk and cookies for Santa and no annoying cousin Bob, but it was Christmas. Many of my friends thanked me, saying it was the first time in years they had felt the Christmas spirit.

I think the best part of the holidays in China is not one, but two New Years! Luckily, the December 31 holiday is widely celebrated in China.

For the first time, I was able to celebrate a new holiday in a new country. My Chinese friends showed me traditional foods and activities, and I was blown away at how much effort goes into the celebrations and decorating the city.

While it is hard celebrating away from friends and family, I feel lucky. In the US the holiday season ends on December 31, but here we still get to party all the way through Chinese New Year! Let the holiday season begin!

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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