So this is the very first year I’m celebrating Christmas away from my family. It was very hard waking up and knowing I wouldn’t see all of them, that I wouldn’t be making supper with my mom or helping out around the kitchen. That there would be no goofing around with my siblings and hugs and kisses from everyone I love so much. This was probably the hardest day I’ve had since I’ve been here.
Luckily on Sunday before Christmas I had one of the only English-speaking families ask me if I would like to spend Christmas with them. I was at first hesitant.. maybe I would sulk at my apartment instead? Watching Christmas movies and drown my sorrows in red wine. The hesitation lasted maybe a second before I said, “yes” because this is why I came here. To experience the culture, people and new surroundings so of course I would be honored to spend Christmas at their home, and am honored they even asked me.
So today, December 25th came and to be honest I was nervous at first. I skyped my family this morning and am so grateful for where technology is. I was able to see them on their Christmas Eve. Opening up gifts, laughing, loving and smiling I miss them so much but can see their faces so it will be okay. My loving sister later sent me the cutest little video of everything she got, the updates in her room and a message of love to me. More than I could have asked for, and was happy she sent it.
So this morning I got ready and Yuan Yuan, Sunny/Tu Tu’s mother came and picked me up at my apartment complex (which first off was super nice of her). We headed to the grocery store, small talking about where we went to school, what for, and how her and her husband met. We got to the grocery store and picked up some groceries and a celebratory Christmas cake which she INSISTED on getting. It was a gorgeous Chinese Cake decorated deliciously.
We headed to her beautiful apartment complex dropped off the groceries and decided to walk around her grounds which was a great way to get to know each other. She caringly said she could be my older sister and insisted we walk arms linked together. Which quite honestly was the best thing! My family and I are very lovey dovey and I miss them so much that having a new “sister” was the best Christmas present I could ask for while here in China.
So we made, Chinese tradition, quite a few dishes. I learned how to de head a shrimp, and cook some shrimp tempura! Yum! We also made a vinaigrette salad, a traditional dish, potato salad, and some amazing fish!
Yuan Yuan and I decided some champagne was in order so we went into the hall to open a bottle of this delicious pink champagne! It was quite an adventure, in hopes I wouldn’t take out a window we felt the windowless hallway worked best to open it! Hahaa.
We headed back in and sat down to a delicious meal, champagne and finished with our amazing Chinese Christmas Cake.
After some visiting they were kind enough to take me home.
Honestly like I said, this was a Christmas Miracle and I could not have asked for more while I was here. I’m homesick yes, but they made me feel loved and completely at home and I am so grateful.