Christmas in China, by Antoinette Schoeman

This year marks the fourth Christmas I’ve spent away from home, and my first in Beijing. I wasn’t expecting any kind of festive experience, so imagine my happy surprise when walking around in Wangfujing and Xidan, shops blaring Jingle Bells and Rudolph, some interesting Christmas trees all around, and a few really beautiful window displays.

A hearty Christmas meal with friends was also on the cards – complete with turkey, gammon, lamb chops, and roast potatoes.

Another highlight for me was the Secret Santa at our centers, where foreign and Chinese staff exchanged gifts and celebrated this Western holiday together.

This was the first time that Christmas away from home actually felt like Christmas. China is full of surprises, and experiencing Christmas here as I would have back home (at least, in part), has been the perfect end to a great year.

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