Before I came to China there was nothing I was really worried about except for the Christmas period. I knew that it would be my first Christmas without my family and on top of that, I will spend it in a country that doesn’t even celebrate my favourite festival of the year.
But during these few weeks I realized that there was nothing to worry about. I don’t have to miss the delicious gingerbread smell, shiny lights and cute decorations because Chinese people seem to like these Christmas things as much as we do. And Christmas is everywhere in China.
Usually the beginning of December is the best time to visit Christmas markets in Germany and the Intercontinental Hotel in Qingdao opened its doors for their Third Annual Christmas market just in time. But they didn’t only serve delicious food; Christmas tree cupcakes and cute handmade Christmas decorations created the perfect Christmas atmosphere.
And it is not only a Christmas market; the feeling of Christmas is everywhere. On my way to work I pass “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” wishes in the shop windows all along. All of the big Shopping malls have their own decoration; some of them are adorned with beautiful shiny lights and paper stars and others even build up a whole forest of shiny Christmas trees.
My favourite decoration is definitely the huge horse carousel that I pass on my way to work, though I have never seen it in use.
All the small shops and bakeries have their shop windows decorated with gingerbread houses, snowmen and opulently decorated Christmas trees. And you are constantly surrounded by Christmas music and the smell of freshly baked cookies.
The Chinese kids have English Christmas parties where they decorate home-made gingerbread cookies with colourful frosting and receive presents from Santa Clause as soon as they learn how to say “Merry Christmas”.
And its not only the decoration and the music that brings Christmas to China. Most of the restaurants and hotels offer great events to join on Christmas Eve. You can find everything, from exotic Thai Christmas celebrations to traditional Christmas dinners with goose. I am sure there is the perfect Christmas dinner for everyone. And after enjoying a delicious dinner you can attend one of the numerous Christmas parties with your friends. There are special Christmas offers everywhere.
With this atmosphere, I am looking forward to Christmas and, except for the fact that my family is not with me, there is nothing else I have to miss!
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