Christmas Away From England


Although I’ll be heading home for Christmas this year I have spent 3 Christmases in various parts of China, and I can safely say that it’s a very different experience than being back home. Anybody who lives in the UK probably started complaining about hearing Christmas songs around the end of October and is already well and truly in scrooge mode. I would do anything to trade places with you! Strange as it may be to say it, I miss being outraged at how early Christmas songs come on, because the only way I’ll get to listen to a still-in-the-closet George Michael recounting tales of how unwise he was in handing out his heart last Christmas is by CHOOSING to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is kind of celebrated out here, but generally people just give various types of fruit to each other on Christmas eve and have done with it. In fact, just yesterday I discovered all of my colleagues seemed to disappearing at some time in the late afternoon, and when I asked where they were going, they said “to collect oranges!” as if it was a daily occurrence. So, not wanting to be left out I headed downstairs to receive 5 kilos of oranges (there was no explanation as to why we received them, but I guess it was an early Christmas gift?).


As lovely as this sentiment is, it unfortunately does not quite fulfill the nostalgic festive pang I have. Indeed I’d say Christmas is one of the rare times that an expat stops and truly thinks “Why am I living here?” At least that’s the case for me, anyway…

Well, enough moaning for now, I’ll leave you with this video and my festive wishes!


About Greg

A simpleton from West Yorkshire, England living in Beijing. I try to document the oddities, frustrations and funnies that happen to me whilst out here. Hopefully you enjoy reading these little episodes as much as I enjoy writing them.
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