So this is Christmas…

Even as Christmas Day is still underway in North America, it’s quietly come and gone here in China, and Chinese friends are already looking toward their festive late January new years celebrations.  I find myself lingering, however, on the Christmas holiday and the Christmas cheer, thankful for another wonderful year here in China, and missing friends and family back home all the same.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I find that I miss the little things, as much as the big things, about celebrating Christmas at home.

So here are some lovely photos (all courtesy of my husband, of course) of the little ways we celebrated here and there, and wishing you all a very, merry Christmas, too.

The table set for our holiday expat party, complete with imported Christmas paper plates, courtesy of my mom's care package!
Two of my favorite gifts this year, both from my mother: a beautiful dish cloth from Hawaii, and candles to set the mood!
The tree gets a few more shiny balls that remind me of my grandmother, who loved to decorate the tree with them.
Rice for our Christmas chicken curry spiced with cumin and corriander seeds.
Sugary, thick hot chocolate made by one of our expat friends.
Our Christmas cookie decorating certainly felt festive!
Of course, this is the more typical scene year-round in China, this one a few days before Christmas to celebrate the grand opening of a store downstairs from our apartment.
Making peppermint bark. (I also made a vanilla cake in the crockpot to try to use up the leftover peppermint frosting I made for cookie decorating, but I wouldn't recommend the combination!)
Pine candle burning (courtesy of my mother-in-law) in a sea of opened gifts, and mimosas, our China Christmas morning tradition.
Our nieces opening up their presents we sent from China on Christmas Eve in Oklahoma, as we watch over skype from China. Thanks to my sister-in-law for capturing this precious moment!

And other favorite little things from this season found round the web:

Christmas around the world

This article on “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” and you might be surprised by what she has to say!

Another healthier play on peppermint bark from my favorite magazine, that I’m looking forward to trying

This quote from Etsy, which I love.

And the day after Christmas: catching up on that Packer game from the day before, of course!

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