Lisa McClure's China Diary

December 24, 2000

It's still an hour and a half till midnight, but I wanted to be the first to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Lara and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve day. We opened our gifts this morning (a great way to avoid having to listen to Lara beg to open them all day long!) baked cookies, then bought groceries from the street market, and prepared and shared a simple Christmas supper (roast chicken, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, and pumpkin pie) for several of our favorite students and the other foreign teachers in the building.

All day long, students dropped by with Christmas cards and little gifts for us, and we listened to Christmas music on my CD player. Around 5:30 pm, while we were preparing our supper, we heard the school radio station playing my John Denver Christmas CD over the loudspeakers, for everyone to enjoy. I had specially requested it, and was thrilled that they were willing to play it for me. (and everybody else, too!)

It's 10:30 pm, now. I read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and put Lara to bed around 8, so she's been asleep for a couple of hours, already. I'm heading off to bed now, myself. Santa has just paid us a visit. I think that Lara will be pleased to see what he has brought her when she wakes up in the morning. There's enough candy to choke a horse, and plenty of toys, too.

Tomorrow, we're planning to go to a fancy portrait studio in town, and get ourselves dressed up and made up in Chinese style, and have our photo taken. Then in the evening, our foreign affairs office will host a Christmas dinner in our honor.

I can hear firecrackers and boisterous students outside. Christmas is getting to be a pretty popular holiday here in China. Certainly, everybody seems to enjoy all the lights and music and festivity. So, even though we're far from our family again this Christmas, our friends are helping us have a wonderful time celebrating, and we're having a great time.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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