Christmas Around Shanghai

As I’m sure everyone in the States is reminded constantly, it’s the Christmas season! I am beyond excited to return home and celebrate with my family. Being in China for Thanksgiving was particularly hard, knowing that across the globe my extended family was gathering together and I was the absent one. But missing Christmas would just not be an option. I know a few international students here are staying until mid-January since they have to adhere to the Fudan University academic calendar, which has the semester ending at that time. But since I’m technically on the Davidson calendar, I’m coming home!

Recently I’ve tried to make the best out of being in China in terms of getting excited for the holiday season. I listen to Christmas music on my computer, bought a new sweater, and my friend hosted a really nice Christmas party in her apartment last night where we all played a game of Yankee Swap (they called it “White Elephant”). But nothing can compare to being in Maine this time of year.

But to be honest, there has been a sense of Christmas cheer around the city. I’ve seen a lot more Christmas decorations in Shanghai that I expected. By no means is it as significant of a holiday in China as in the U.S., but I’ve notice a plethora of signs, sales, and figures around the city that seem to suggest that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in China, or at least Christmas consumerism!

In any case, it’s oddly comforting to see huge plastic trees around the mall and new holiday-themed red cups emerging from Starbucks. Even in the smallest of convenience stores they have messages of Christmas cheer. It’s getting me that much more excited to return to America. I’ll be home for Christmas!