Friday night as our staff team’s Christmas party, complete with scrumptious buffet of homemade desserts (including my pavlova). Today we had our Christmas services. Some of the big international school start their Christmas break at the end of the week so next weekend a lot of people will start flying off on holiday. So today was the big fuss Christmas services. We won’t do anything on Christmas, other than a regular Sunday service on the 23rd which may or may not include some carols.
Then this afternoon one of my girls came over and we set up my Christmas tree. I love my Christmas tree. I already had a nice Christmas tree that had been handed down by a friend when she left China, but I had this deep desire to buy a tree of my own. It took me a while to realise why. I have been in China nearly 9 years now. I came for a year, stayed on, but it took me almost 6 to decide I was staying. For all that time I hadn’t bought a Christmas tree; it seemed like the sort of thing a person buys when they have a home. Which I didn’t.
When I moved into this place I settled into a HOME of my own for the first time. Buying a Christmas tree was an emotional symbol to me that I really was home – I didn’t have to grow up or go back to Australia, I was home HERE.
It is still amazing to me how much a silly Christmas tree can mean to me. I look at my Christmas tree and I feel… I’m not entirely sure, but strong emotions of some kind. Because when I look at that tree it’s a strong reminder that I have made my own home here in this foreign country, the only home I’ve really known as an adult.
So I may be biased, but I think my tree is wonderful! Add that to the Christmas music I’ve been playing all afternoon, and it’s definitely feeling Christmassy in here!
On another note, I keep promising people pictures of my green hair, but have yet to follow through. I put some pale blonde and green streaks in my hair about 6 weeks ago. It’s been quite fun, I think I may add a second colour soon. I bought a bunch of cheap dye powders from a local Chinese market for $1 each – money well spent, I reckon!
Finally, I did a chart of the air quality again for November. Again, I used the AQI figures from the US embassy in Beijing, plotting the daily average for each day of the month. Looks pretty similar to the one from last month to me!