On Christmas Eve, I was able to be part of a special Christmas choir, which was lots of fun, and then that night, I attended a student party.
Then on Christmas Day, we had some American college students who came and visited some classes; after lunch, I talked to my family, which was wonderful. We opened presents from each other while talking on Skype. So here are some highlights of my haul. :-P
The best two presents were both made by my mother. First, she looked at a picture that I took in Yunnan:
...and painted it.
Isn't she awesome?
Also, she made a scrapbook of family photos, which I'm sure represents hours and hours of work.
Yes, that's Baby Missie on the front.
I got lots of happy chocolate and some coffee and honey sticks and cookies from various people, too.
My almost-sister Michele sent me a lovely ornament:
It would have dwarfed our poor Charlie Brown tree, so it's hanging on my bedroom door.
Warm slippers from coworker Yeeling:
Beautiful candle from Karen:
And a Chinese Chia Pet! (From student/friend Sally)
This was mine, Karen's, and Lily's Christmas dinner.
Mmm...Hong Shao Fish.
That night, there was another party, this one much bigger, thrown by the English Association.
Here are the hosts: Dorothy, Charlie, ?, and Jenny.
And here's my student Angeline singing a Cranberries song (which, trust me, is pretty hardcore for here).
On Boxing Day, we did have the day off. The contract officially says that we get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, but since Christmas Eve was a Sunday, we also got Boxing Day. In the morning, I talked to the extended family on Dad's side, and they sang for me. :-)
Then we decided to get off campus, since we had had to stick around most of the day for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We went to Yuexiu Park downtown, and it was beautiful.
The park contains a memorial to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and this is the view upwards. I sort of cheated just a little bit to get this picture.
The park also contains a Nice Store.
Finally, at night, we paid entirely too much money for a tasty Italian meal at Milano, downtown near the Garden Hotel. So good.
I was planning to add New Year's on here, but this is so picture-heavy already. Also, I'm having trouble with YouTube again, and there's a video I'd like to have on that post.
This was the first Christmas that I've ever spent away from home, and it was a little hard, but the parties and the park definitely helped. It also helped to think about the real meaning of