Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Taking down the Tree

We've been taking down the tree for a few days now. Putting away ornaments gave me a chance to take some pictures of my collection of angels. Now, I'm not truly a big angel person. It all began when we first moved to this part of China over 10 years ago. Christmas is not an officially recognized holiday here as no one gets off from school or work. All those years ago, it was difficult to find a Christmas tree and decorations. (Even now there are no Christmas tree lots selling well groomed, pungent cut firs.) There was, however, one Japanese department store in the city which carried a few fake trees (financially out of reach) and ornaments. I searched through those ornaments trying to find something that had anything to do with the Christmas story and found this little angel.

It was my first Christmas in this new and different place. Since then I have tried to add an angel to my collection each year. In recent years Christmas has come more to the forefront here in that people are aware of Santa and gift giving. Often a taxi driver will tell me how Christmas is much like Chinese New Year, and I try to explain the ways the two holidays are alike and different. Some shops, stores, and malls will put up decorations. This year 7up built a huge Christmas tree out of empty green soda bottles at one venue downtown. People may go out for a special meal, but that's about it. We did finally acquire a nice fake tree many years back when they became more common. Seems that it came from Russia. So that brings me back around to taking down the tree. Still have a long way to go.

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