Chinese Christmas… What’s there to say? First, Chinese people don’t believe in Christmas, it’s not an important day here, not even a holiday. The younger generation does (kind of) celebrate it, because of the exposure to Western culture. Most Chinese I’ve met, think everything “American” is cool. So, most things, mannerisms, what-have-you, are copied to a fault.
My first Chinese Christmas sucked ass. Really sucked ass. It was my first Christmas (EVER!) not being in my country. It wasn’t the first I hadn’t celebrated with the family, but I was always in the country. Besides, we celebrate Christmas for two day, so I was always with my loved ones for some part of the day (at least). For the first time in my life, I missed all the fuss that went into planning and eating Christmas lunch/dinner with family and friends. It also was the first Christmas without Gran… and then the reality really kicked in that THAT is how it’s going to be from then on. Just us, at her house, without her.
I hadn’t any plans for Christmas. Well, nothing set in stone. I had made plans with some friends, but since it’s not that big of a deal here, those plans fell through. If an old friend of mine hadn’t called to invite me to the party, I would’ve stayed home… Again! He asked if I knew a “European-looking-guy” who could play Santa, and as a matter of fact, I did! I contacted my Bella Italiana, asked her if her boyfriend would want to play Santa, he agreed, and I called my friend with the good news!
2016’s Chinese Christmas was fun! I loved seeing the kids happy!
Good thing Giorgio, Santa, is good with kids! He said: “Tiara (Tee-Aaah-RRah: that’s how he pronounces my name with his Italian accent), you sing the Christmas songs, I don’t know no Christmas songs!”
I hadn’t the slightest idea what my job description was, my friend “hired” me to look pretty. His girlfriend is the owner of the Kindergarten, and she wanted some “pretty Black girls,” so he called me. I had absolutely no idea what to do, but I wanted and NEEDED to do something: I was paid 500 Renminbi for two hours of looking pretty! Wanting to do more than that, I decided to make myself useful. How? By reading a story.
Now, we all know a few Christmas stories, like The Grinch, and uh… yeah, that about sums it up for me for the PG versions. If you know some more, especially you people with kids, feel free to throw in the names. When they proposed I read a story, I thought it would be a story that had something to do with Christmas. But… I read Frozen, the “let-it-go, let-it-go” story. I tell ya, when this movie first came out, my Belle (my niece) would sing “Let It Go” all the livelong day! It was stuck in my head!
It really was a Chinese Christmas: great food and a weird Christmas story.
I know that Chinese are new to the whole “celebrating Christmas” thing, so I will let this one slide. There is some kind of connection with Christmas, since Frozen has a lot of snow. Oh, and maybe it can be like a celebrating sisterly affection. That’s a nice sentiment, right? So, they had me read the story, but nobody paid attention to me. The kids their English isn’t good enough to say “Can I go to the bathroom,” it will probably just be “bathroom.” But, I had to read the story. The parents enjoyed it more than their kids did.
It was a fun day! I enjoyed myself very much, made some very easy money, and met few nice people as well. I wonder what my next Chinese Christmas will be like. By then, I hope I will be able to go back home, even for a week, to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with my family! Those are extremely precious moments! <3
Oh, I forgot to mention that the neighborhood the Kindergarten is in, is POSH! Gated community, European/American style houses, NOTHING like those FUGLY apartment buildings in Jimei, Tong’An, and even on Xiamen Island! I was like, “WHAATTTTT?! WHY THE EFF ARE WE IN JIMEI?!” You have to be a millionaire to live there, seriously! Its such a HUGE contrast between the rest of Xiamen.
I am thankful for the people I’ve met here in China. Bella is one of them! She’ll be leaving China soon, but the pleasant memories will stay with me always!