alright, here it is. the story of christmas in china, my first christmas away from home:
i spent the first half of the week on vacation and i came home to christmas! i spent christmas eve running around like a crazy person getting everything ready for people to come over. i made microwave brownies and bought oranges and cookies and things. it was pretty good. corey came over early and made me spaghetti, which was awesome.
then danny and lizzy came over and then thai and simon and a bunch of their friends, who were cool. we all hung out and tried to stay warm in my freezing apartment (stupid china and lack of central heat!). we eventually brought out the space heater, which was really nice until it blew the fuse. i found some candles and it was actually kind of nice to sit around in the dark with the candles. the security guy came pretty quickly, though, and we were back in business. then simon got Fred Clause going and we had some christmas movie time, after which we were all a bit dead and everyone went home except thai and danny, who spent the night.
christmas day was really nice. we woke up and chilled for a bit, then the boys cleaned up and did dishes while i made pancakes. i didn't even mean for them to, i just started making pancakes and the next thing i know the apartment is clean, the dishes are washed and thai is asking for a broom. it was awesome. anyway, we all ate pancakes and sort of did our thing until thai had to leave for work. bummer. so i skyped my family and opened my presents and hung out with danny. we spent most of the day on the couch, trying to stay warm in the apartment that refused to warm up.
as far as christmas presents go, my mom is pretty awesome. i opened my second box to find a veritable treasure trove of surprises. she sent no bake cheesecake mix, chocolate chips, toothpaste, awesome fleece pj pants, fun earrings from ten thousand villages, a where the wild things are christmas ornament, some shirts, febreeze and, the best part, wheat tortillas. i still can't believe she actually sent them from the US in a box that left a month ago. and they're still good. needless to say, it was a good day. she also sent pj's from vegas that say "that's how i roll" which is funny b/c that's one thing that i actually do say and that confuses my british friends here. thanks, mom, you pretty much win.
i had christmas dinner with janice, which was very relaxing and wonderful. she made beef soup, which made me happy b/c the beef reminded me of roast beef which is one of my favorite things to eat. we chatted and watched american tv while we ate Ihow long has it been since i've seen oprah?) and waited for her new refridgerator to come. it's funny the things that change when you live in a new place. i didn't realize how long it had been since i had seen what would be considered a normal-sized refridgerator in the US. the chinese ones are all very small. it was strangely exciting to peer into this side-by-side refridgerator and remember being at home for a bit. it makes me wonder what stupid little things i will really notice when i am home again.
all in all, it was a very nice christmas. i won't lie, i did miss the traditions and people from home. there is something about them and something about home that really makes it feel like christmas. there is something in the air that just doesn't happen here. perhaps it is simply knowing that all around you people are gathered in their houses enjoying each other and celebrating the same things. it's strange to be celebrating an important day knowing that everyone around you is going about their normal lives. in the end, though, i managed to spend it doing things i enjoy with people i care about, which is really what matters. i hope i am always so lucky.