Yesterday, I went with a friend. It was a very fun time! She has never celebrated Christmas before, so we strolled arm in arm, browsing the Christmas wares and giggling. She asked me what different things were and asked if this was the kind of stuff you would find in most North American homes. Sadly, I had to say... no! How do you explain the difference between the more stately, Victorian turns that Christmas in North America have taken, and the Christmases of 20 years ago to someone who has never seen it? The people here love things that shine, sparkle and flash. Thus, it makes sense that the Christmas things they stock would be a brilliant display of garlands, hard-to-look-at flashing lights, shimmering trees, immense shining wreathes, and huge Santa Clauses! I took the pictures at the top with my phone in bad lighting, but it certainly illustrates my point.
Fortunately for them, I grew up on tacky Christmases! We hung the shining garland from the door frames. Anything that sparkled was definitely hung. Red and green were great, but gold was better! Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed my walk through Santa's shop and had my picture taken with a brilliantly lit Frosty the Snowman. What a great time!
We are making our own ornaments with the boys this year. Its a childhood classic (for me anyway). Make the ornament out of a tasteless dough, bake them and paint them. We have some Chinese friends coming over on Sunday to help us. We'll probably invest in a tree and some lights, but not much else.
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!