Monday, December 20, 2010


Christmas Countdown

Hey all,

OMG...  How did it get to be the week before Christmas so fast?  Part of it is because I don't have the kids whispering their wish lists in my ear, but still...OMG.

So, how are you all doing?  Have you finished your shopping?  Are you one of those organized few who have it all done by Thanksgiving, or are you like the majority of people and rush around through December wishing frantically they knew exactly where that Model XYZ-OMGTHISISCRAZY is still in stock.

Over here, there isn't so much pressure.  But the Chinese people get into it just as their western counterparts do.  I mean, from what I've been told, Christmas is NOT an Asian holiday, but I tell you, you couldn't tell by the decorations, displays and store windows.

If they wanted me to feel right at home, they've succeeded.

But is dragging our westernized version of commercialized Christmas over here a good thing?  I mean, does little Su Li HAVE to have that one of a kind doll?  Will little Han cock up his toes if he doesn't get that model car he's been dreaming off?  What about the real reason for the season?

I can say I've yet to see a Santa waiting for the kiddies to sit on his lap.  And I was kinda disappointed.  I was really curious to see what a Chinese Santa Claus looked like.  LOL  But maybe NOT seeing him means the kids aren't as gift oriented as the children in the USA.

Yet I don't think so.  As I've walked around town I've seen many shoppers bustling around with all kinds of packages, just like I do in the states.  And there is no Wally World or other budget department store chain here, so the prices are as you would expect in a regular store.
But commercialized or not, I hope that Christmas over here will be what it's supposed to be.  Whether you're like me and celebrate this special holiday as the day of our Lord Jesus' birth, or you only have Santa whooshing down your chimney, it all comes down to one thing...

Gifts, eggnog, trees and decorations aside.  This is a holiday for fellowship, giving and loving your fellow man (and woman).  So reach out and touch someone this Christmas season.  Let them know you care.  Share your heart.  And I'll bet your gift will come back to you multiplied many times.
And since I'm not one to say something and not back it up, I have for all of you a very special gift.  A FREE Christmas story for all my fans and readers.  I had a blast writing it, and I hope you'll enjoy reading it.
Go here...  and you'll see my December Newsletter which is open to everyone this month.  Enjoy the newsletter, get a sneak peak at my Newsletter FREE READ, and at the bottom you'll find the link to get to my FREE CHRISTMAS STORY.  And once you read it, please let me know what you think.  Givre wants me to do one each year to celebrate, but it'll be up to you guys just as much as the characters in my head.  :-)
You all have a wonderful Monday, and I'll be back on Wednesday with more Christmas chatter!
Hugs to all,


BrennaLyons said...

Hmm... Well, I would have been done by the first week of Dec, but I got some Christmas lists late. Aside from baking and a few cards I have to send, I am done now. I've had everything wrapped for the last two weeks.

My BIL was ex-pat working in China for four years, and it SUCKED. They refused to recognize the US holidays, so he didn't get them off, and they scheduled him to work on all Chinese holidays, because he's not Chinese, and therefore had no reason to have them off, either. His bosses over there were JERKS, IMO.


Phylis said...

Did a marathon shop on Saturday. Would have done it earlier but I had a sinus infection and had to stay home. :( Daughter did a bunch of wrapping for me yesterday, bless her! Might have a couple things yet to get but I work Friday till 4 pm. Need a few groceries too. So in better shape than I thought I would be!

CJ England said...

Hey Brenna,

I know what you mean about the holidays over here. It's frustrating. The only saving grace we have is 1) Macau used to be a Portuguese country so they are a little more Christmas oriented than China proper. and 2) we work for Franco Dragone who is French, so the company has a more westernized idea of holidays.

But it just doesn't feel like Christmas here. I'm hoping when we go to Hong Kong on Christmas Eve, we can get a little more in the mood.

CJ England said...

Hey Phylis,

I hope you feel better. A sinus infection is so painful.

I went out shopping yesterday, but couldn't do half what I wanted. A lot of places were closed for some reason.

I checked when I got home and found out it was some administrative holiday. WTF???

They also celebrate the winter solstice as a public holiday, as well as Christmas Eve and Day. That was a real surprise to me. But a pleasant one!

Ray said...

Our commercialism is being downsized this year. Only the children are getting gifts. When we first got married we gave presents to my wife's whole extended family. The family has turned into a tribe over the years. We used to have Christmas dinner at Millie's grandmother's apartment. The last few years Greatma was alive the dinners were held in the church basement, a restaurant or hotel conference room.

After she died we started having dinner at my sister-in-law's with a family group about as large as the ones in the apartment before the crowd wouldn't fit anymore.

For the last few years we couldn't make the trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains so we just stay in Virginia Beach. Millie has medical problems that preclude travel and our cars have mechanical shortcomings that keep us as close to home as possible. We will be having dinner at my son's home about ten miles away in Norfolk, VA.

My fondest memory of Christmas as a child was the year I turned seven two weeks after. I got to spend the week between Christmas and New Year at my paternal grandparents' house. Grandpa had a stereo-opticon (forerunner of the Viewmaster). He had a shoebox half full of photos of the construction of the Panama Canal and half full of photos of Yellowstone Park in the same era. I loved the food from "the old country," all the old knickknacks. It was as if I were a seven year old archeologist.

As a pre-teen I had my first visit to Yellowstone and in 1983 I had the first of my seven transits through the Panama Canal where some of the equipment used to build the canal was on display and a huge floating crane was still in use seventy years after the canal was finished. One of those seven transits was to sail the tanker home to refuel before returning in January.

Christmas is about family and memories.

I hope you have a Christmas to make memories for a lifetime.

Thanks for the free Christmas read.



CJ England said...

Thanks, Ray.

I know that's what I'm trying to keep at the front of my mind. Memories for forever.

And I'm glad you enjoyed the FREE READ. I'm getting good response, so Givre will probably get his way and get another story next year. LOL