A Less than Merry Christmas

This will be quite an auspicious post, or perhaps not, depending on your own disposition. As you may or may not now know, I am currently living in China, Shanghai to be more specific. As you may or may not know, Christmas isn’t really a holiday that is celebrated or observed out here. Strange enough as it is, that this will be my first Christmas away from home, but it’ll be in a country in which Christmas isn’t even a big deal!

There have been a few advantages to this lack of Christmas cheer however. As of yet, I haven’t suffered under the usual barrage of premature advertisements, decorations or Christmas songs. This reprieve  has been, for the most part, very welcome. Equally this year I’ll be missing out on the Christmas advert competition that annually rages between rival supermarkets. There are other advantages to being in China, the ‘Great Firewall’ has meant that I’ve not had to face the online bickering that always accompanies the months leading up to Christmas. You know the kind I’m on about, “It’s November, It’s not even close to Christmas yet!” and all the numerous and endless variances produced in a flurry without fail. Equally I haven’t been slapped in the face by the ever increasing snowball of Memes, either celebrating Christmas, denouncing it or attacking Christmas fanatics in a passively aggressive manner.

But putting these small pleasures aside, it seems many people, or at least those that I work with, imagine that this Christmas will be an entirely lacklustre affair. I myself, am pretty inclined to agree with them. The only thing providing any notion of Christmas is the plummeting daily temperature, something as I’m sure you can imagine is a bit of a mixed blessing. It also doesn’t help that, as Christmas in not a national holiday, which means we will be working on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Say what you might, but nothing says merry Christmas like presiding over a classroom or two of twenty screaming children that require your constant attention. It is likely my school will put on a Christmas event, although the exact details are unknown to me and will likely remain so until the day of, or if I’m lucky the day before. I will however be employing a slight countermeasure to this lack of cheer and festiveness by means of my Santa Claus onesie that I picked during my university years. Something small to look forward to adorning.

This year I will have to face the prospect of experiencing a very different Christmas. I won’t be sitting around the Christmas Tree joyfully exchanging gifts with my family. Before eating and drinking myself into a stupor, playing what has become the annual and sole game of Risk and generally continually eating. This year, I will, if all goes well, be spending Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle, eating what I hope will be a stupendous Christmas Dinner. But that is all yet to come. So in all, my Christmas won’t be as I’ve come to expect Christmas, a sea of red, aggressive marketing and overplayed Christmas songs. Instead it appears as though it will be a little more low key, not quite bah humbug, but definitely not Ho Ho Ho! I wonder who will be this year’s Christmas number one ……….

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One thought on “A Less than Merry Christmas”

  1. I spent the first four Christmases of my married life in Indonesia so can relate to much of what you say. However, Indonesians like to celebrate all holidays, so we didn’t have to work – and we enjoyed seeing their interpretation of the season.

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