Christmas was an exciting and busy time for me even in a country that doesn’t celebrate the holiday as I’m used to. They do, however, celebrate even if on just a superficial level with decorations at every shopping center there is. All of the big shopping centers have a big tree out front, some really cool, and each little store inside has a small tree usually decorated so poorly its funny (see my friends blog post about that).
There are tons of Santa decorations and tinsel everywhere. They even play Christmas music on the sound systems of the stores and malls, though it is often just a few songs repeated over and over again. I didn’t expect this much Christmas in China or at least in Hefei and I really didn’t expect religious stuff, but the songs included renditions of many religious carols.
I put up my decorations the day after Thanksgiving. I had a tree, some lights, a wreath on the door and a nativity scene I made out of paper. I’ll put the templates online if you want to make your own. Eventually, I did find some little Chinese figurines that were perfect for a nativity scene so I got them and had that set up too. Having decorations in my apartment really warmed it up for the holiday and helped me have a merrier Christmas.
I used my decorations twice outside my apartment, once for my middle school lesson on Christmas and then for my Christmas party for my students. They really appreciated it and were very impressed. I made my ornaments out of origami and yarn, so it was very inexpensive and colorful.
Overall, I enjoyed spreading the Christmas spirit with my decorations and music.