Christmas with Chopsticks

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.

Who says stockings can’t hang over the Great Wall?

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.

Actually, it was a gift from some of our fellow expats.

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!

Mmmm . . .

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.

And you find creative ways to make pretty cookies even without cookie cutters.

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.


Everybody loves Christmas cookies.

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.

Not as much food as for Thanksgiving, but it was still good.
And since you want a picture of your BEAUTIFUL hostess. . . (in which her head takes up half of the picture)

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!

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).


5 thoughts on “Christmas with Chopsticks

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  3. Rachelle

    Sounds like fun! I had time to bake after Christmas for some family celebrations but maybe next year I’ll actually get to make some food traditions for Christmas day. (I’m thinking monkey bread or something similar for breakfast.) Meatballs sound like a great one!

  4. RC

    I’m glad that you didn’t allow your Christmas to be disappointing, but used it make tasty dishes and spend time with new friends and perhaps make new traditions. 🙂

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