The first thing I do when I wake up on Christmas is turn on the tree, even before I turn on the coffee pot! I love my tree and have a post already written about it for tomorrow. Then it was to the Bose to put in Christmas music. After Anders and Andrew woke up I asked if one of them would go to Saubel’s for donuts, they both declined. Saubel’s is a grocery store in Shrewsbury, PA that makes the best donuts! There are no donuts in China.
Andrew had a little red bag from the wet market that substituted for a stocking, ours are in storage in the US. We opened our gifts from Andrew, they were the only presents under our tree. Anders got himself set up with a satellite dish, I got a jade bracelet the day before, and Andrew? Well, Andrew has been getting gifts along the way and will continue to do so in Beijing this weekend. If Andrew hadn’t given us gifts it would have been naked under the tree (I don’t even have a tree skirt). I also opened the cards from friends and family that I collected while I was in the States for Christmas. Thank you so much!
I did cook a traditional Christmas dinner. It’s not traditional for us but I am unable to get the beef that I need for our normal holiday dinner. So I bought a frozen, over-seasoned, 14 lb. turkey from one of the import stores and paid…….$75! Yikes. It was a choice but one that had to be made. It’s been a rather unconventional holiday for us and this was one thing I could do to make it feel like home. I made stuffing, broccoli-cheese casserole, gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie (Andrew’s favorite and seeing that he’s one of the 3 best people in the world, I had to do it). There were no cranberries for making sauce and no canned sauce to be had. I know I saw it in November and should have been smart enough to buy what I needed then. Oh well, live and learn. Our friend joined us for dinner. His family was unexpectedly called back to the States and we could not allow him to spend Christmas alone.
Anders, Andrew, and S. played a traditional Christmas poker game complete with sunflower seeds for chips. I think I may need to go to OneLink to buy Anders some real poker chips, seeing that this is a new tradition 🙂 They also were able to watch football games on TV. If Anders didn’t have the satellite, it wouldn’t have been possible.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I’m not complaining, I actually enjoy it. Daily cooking for the 2 of us or a few more when we have company is not a problem but this kind of meal? It was a challenge in this kitchen. I used my wok to mix the stuffing! The amazing thing is that the turkey fit in my roasting pan and the Easy Bake oven. I was only able to use the oven for one thing at a time and it required some planning but it worked. I was rather pleased with the way the meal turned out. It wasn’t bad and when I finally get around to showing pictures of my house and you see how the kitchen is laid out I think you too will be surprised. The nicest part of the day was when the 3 guys took over the kitchen to clean up. I did not do one thing once the food was on the table!
After S. left to Face Time with his family in the States, it was a quiet evening. We watched Bridesmaids. I have to say that it’s the first Christmas that we did not watch A Christmas Story. Kind of sad. I brought my DVDs but didn’t watch any of them. Sigh. I brought all of my CDs and was able to listen to nothing but Christmas music both at home and in the car. Ben likes the Brian Setzer CD.
I think that next year we will be like most of the ex-pat community and be in our home country for Christmas. It was a very subdued one for me. It’s my favorite holiday and I will admit to being very homesick for it this year.
So that’s how I spent my first Christmas in China. Hopefully I will get a better grade on my essay than Ralphie. 😉
6PM – 70°