Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chinese Christmas

Today as I was heading to the post office to mail my Christmas cards, I observed two gentlemen with a ladder engaged in hanging a "Merry Christmas" wreath above the entrance to a bank. Now, many shops here in Shenzhen have Christmas decor. Christmas trees, Angels and Santas are far more common than I would have guessed. But what caught my attention today was the date. Today is December 11th. And they are just now hanging their Christmas wreath.

Compare that with Christmas decor in the United States. My guess is that in June the head honchos at Target Corporate were huddled around a massive conference table trying to figure out how they could convince their customers that it would be reasonable to put up their Christmas decor in July. (And if I'm not mistaken that Christmas light section goes up at the same time as the Halloween stuff. So I'm not exaggerating by much.)

What I am telling you is that I have found another reason to love China. Christmas is present and accounted for here in Shenzhen, but not mercilessly beaten into your skull with endless renditions of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and that awful song about the child who only wants his two front teeth for Christmas. The whole idea is to leave your nerves so totally frayed that you honestly believe that failing to purchase the "it" Christmas gift for your three year old child is a disaster on par with developing a meth addiction and loosing all your teeth.

So yes, we are enjoying a break from Western Christmas mayhem and the freedom to celebrate the day exactly as we choose. I bought a bonsai tree and piled it high with lights and some funny metallic mushrooms and Eric just bought our tickets to Thailand. So, this year, I think our holiday theme song will be "Christmas Island" by the Andrews Sisters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Very poignant post about the Shenzhen folks putting up wreaths on December 11 versus almost year-round Christmas in the U.S. And although the Andrews sisters were before my time, I enjoyed basking in the simplicity and naivete of that age for a few minutes.

Daddy G

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