Well it's amazing, but Santa Claus found us in China! We don't have a fireplace in our apartment (wish we did!), so Sue creatively drew one on a piece of paper and hung it on the wall. Stockings were provided - shipped to us by our amazing friends Amy and Bob which we sure enjoyed opening on our Christmas Day! We celebrated on the 23rd since I had to work on the 24th and 25th.Among other things, Peter and Jack opened a puzzle, and between Sue and the 3 kids they had it put together in one morning. Sophie was very good at it!
During the day, we went out for wonderful Christmas bicycle ride around part of West Lake, so we could gawk at all of the people, and they could gawk right back at us!
Sophie received this hat at the restaurant we visited and wore it all day.
Then,came time for the "party" with all of my 120+ students. We came in in our normal street clothes and were greeted by my students in tuxedos and beautiful dresses!
A Chinese party is more like a talent show. We saw skits, piano playing, singing, a magic show, and karaoke. There were 2 karaoke groups, and I found myself holding 2 balloons to be a judge; a red balloon for one team, a white one for the other. So, after 2 contestants finished, I had to hold up a balloon to vote for the contestant I thought sang the best! How to choose??
Next, the 5 of us got up on stage and led the group in a round of "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". They also interviewed the kids who were somewhat shell-shocked by the large crowd, the microphones and the spotlights!
Two of my students, "Natalie" and "Chris", the MC's for the show.
Singing and flute playing...
A skit that was done, about a girl who is trying to win the heart of a boy. The boy, "Parker", is wearing a sign that says "handsome". In the end, he gets the girl!
... and more singing!
We also did a mini-white elephant exchange on stage which left quite a pile of garbage. After the gift opening was over, Sue and I leaned over and grabbed some of the packaging to take off stage. One of my students told me today that they were quite embarrassed that we had to do this. We were the "guests of honor" with a special table up front, and he pointed out that guests of honor should not be picking up garbage from the stage. Ooops!
Although we missed our family and friends back home, overall we had a very interesting, lovely and happy Christmas!