Not your typical Christmas this year. As much as we’re in China and the Chinese don’t celebrate Christmas, they’ve adopted multiple different western traditions. By having this, it made December and Christmas feel a lot more like home than it would have been.
To make things normal we did the same things that we would do back home. As always, we used our favourite shopping site and bought ourselves a Christmas tree with a bunch of decorations. Eventually all arrived and we made sure that the first thing we did was put up the Christmas lights so it was starting to look a lot like Christmas. Obviously in China, Christmas wrapping paper isn’t a free for all but we managed to find and started putting presents under the tree and it felt like Christmas had finally arrived.
We had originally planned to do a small Christmas at home with just the two of us as it would be our first Christmas together in our own little apartment. Shortly after this we spoke to my folks and they said they would come for Christmas instead of doing February for Spring Festival. I had accepted that I would not be spending Christmas with my family, but it was beyond exciting to know that Christmas would be the same or as close as it could get to the same as it would be at home versus being in China.
My family were to land in a months’ time from when they told us, so we had to get a move on and make sure that the house was ready, even though we had it nice and ready for 2 people but it definitely was not ready for 5 people. So in time we eventually got everything underway and before we know it, the one month that we had disappeared in the blink of an eye. It was super exciting because before we knew it, they day my family was to arrive finally arrived! Obviously, it was a wait and a half because there was the clearing of customs, but this was a daunting one because they brought two bags full of yummy goodies from home for the two of us… so we thought that there was a chance that these bags wouldn’t be coming through.
Time had passed with them being in Nanjing and we had done so many things in and around Nanjing. They took a small trip to Xi’an and then we would meet them in Beijing for Christmas. Meeting them in Beijing on Christmas Eve with the family, this definitely didn’t feel like a normal Christmas, but we were super excited to have my family around for Christmas. On Christmas day we did a bright, early and cold morning in Beijing and made our way to the metro where we would be picked up for our day on The Great Wall. Nothing about this was a normal Christmas, no normal Christmas lunch/dinner, no presents (well we left them in Nanjing, so Christmas was going to be continuing for a while, which of course is always exciting), but it was still a very good and amazing Christmas. Getting to experience The Great Wall for a second time, but this time getting to experience it with my family. We spent a good afternoon on the wall and eventually made our way back down the wall. We headed to a lunch with everyone from the bus that we were picked up with and at this point it happened again that we were reminded this is not a normal Christmas… but in the end the “Christmas lunch” was super yummy and we were not disappointed at all.
It was incredible to spend Christmas in Beijing and even more so to be able to spend it with my family. On boxing day we made our way back to Nanjing. It felt like a long train ride home, but this was just because all 5 of us were beyond tired from the travel and all the adventures that we’ve had.
It came down to the last week that my family was in town and they were to fly out on the 31 December. The last few days in Nanjing got pretty cold pretty quickly, with rivers, ponds and fountains freezing over, so needless to say it was pretty cold in general.
The day before the family was to fly back home, it started with a light snow fall. This was beyond exciting! Since being in Nanjing, I’ve seen snow twice, but comparing the first to the second one… the second one wins hands down. As the day progressed the amount of snow got heavier and heavier making it colder and colder however, that didn’t stop the 5 of us! We ventured off to find food, came home and then out we all went playing at the lake throwing ice over the frozen water, standing under trees and shaking the snow off to seem like there was more snow than what there was, scraping up ice and making snowballs… it definitely was a fun last day! As much as it wasn’t a white Christmas’ we were pretty close to getting a white New Years, so that was an interesting one!
So Christmas definitely wasn’t the normal one at home with the big Christmas lunch, but I would not have changed any of this for anything else! Was such a special 2 weeks having the 3 of you visit Undies and I! Love you all, see you in 6 months!