Surprisingly for the first time, the University I work in gave us a Christmas party on 21st December. That was the best time they could manage as the students were to have tests from 22nd-25th December. The 5 foreign teachers (1 Canadian, 2 Americans, 1 Philipino and myself) and some Chinese teachers were invited. I was very impressed with the effort they put in to make it Christmassy. They had specially decorated the room and set up a Christmas tree and lots of goodies to eat.
Two media persons from the University were there to cover the celebration for the website. I got a thermos as third prize from a lucky dip for the foreign teachers among the other presents they gave us. There was lots of singing. There I was, home-sick and missing Christmas back home, but the party really cheered me up.
A week before Christmas, I took lessons on festivals. And of course, with Christmas just around the corner, Christmas was the main theme. I organized card-exchange and some games for the occasion. I played some Christmas songs while the cards were being exchanged and the students had a lovely time...including myself :o)
On Christmas Eve, I invited three colleagues (2 Chinese and 1 Philipino) for dinner at an Indian restaurant. We now have two great Indian restaurants in the city where I live. Though they've never tasted Indian food before, I was very delighted to see them joyously gorging down the scrumptious Indian food. Though it's considered disgusting to eat with bare hands in China, I was surprised and impressed to see one of my Chinese friends attempting to eat with his bare hand. You rock, L! :p
Another thing I couldn't miss to mention is that I really felt blessed to receive many Christmas presents this year. It may as well be the year I received the most gifts ever. To top that, I bought a Christmas present for myself. Yep...it's a percolator. I had been circling around different super-markets debating if I should get one. After our dinner on Christmas Eve, we walked back for quite a distance window-shopping and enjoying the night until we finally reached a supermarket where they sell imported goods. As it's a special occasion, I decided to purchase the percolator as a Christmas gift to myself. An ideal purchase at an ideal time indeed! Now I can have real grounded coffee. I know...I'm such a weakling when it comes to chai and coffee. I just can't help it :)
Christmas day was spent with friends and home-cooked lunch and slurrrrp.....cheese cake and apple pie for dessert.