You wonder what it will be like to have Christmas in China. And then it comes, and it doesn’t feel very Christmas-y. It’s hard to celebrate without family.
You set up your Christmas tree a few days ahead of time, getting it decorated by Christmas eve.
You get out your favorite Captain America sweater and put it on, trying to conjure up memories of home and see how American you can be.
And when all that fails to summon the magical spirit of Christmas, you turn to the old tried-and-true: cooking.
Cinnamon rolls, Christmas cookies, apple pies–food always makes you feel festive!
But the best way you know to celebrate Christmas is with friends. So of course you stuff your tiny apartment with as many people as it can hold, and rejoice together over the sugar-cookie dough and the eggnog.
You find that working together with friends is one of the best ways to feel that sense of community that you generally find with family in the place you grew up, as talk and laughter fill your already full kitchen.
And then, when the cookies are done, and all the food’s ready, you sit down and eat together, and talk about everything you can think of together. But before you do that, you have to take the mandatory picture to document everyone who came and all the food you’re about to eat before it disappears.
And after all this, you read the Christmas story and explain it to people who have possibly never heard it before. Then you sing Christmas carols and everyone knows “Silent Night,” and nobody knows “Joy to the World,” and of course they’re very happy when you play your violin for them.
And you decide that this may, after all, be one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! (It’s still only the third or fourth day of Christmas, depending on where you are, so I’m justified in saying that).