Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Living in New York City during the Christmas season can be very exciting. This past weekend I (The Mimi) had the opportunity to see the lighted Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, check out the department stores’ great window displays, and even see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. The weather was quite cold, feeling very wintry and reminding me that Christmas is really just around the corner.

This started me thinking about whether the twins had ever experienced Christmas. Their first Christmas they would have only been just a bit over three weeks old and just recently left by their birth Mother. They were likely already with their foster parents but would have been too young to remember any Christmas celebration had it occurred. Last Christmas, at just a year old, they were also probably too young to have any such memories. So, do they celebrate Christmas in China?

Since Christmas is a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Christ and as the vast majority of the Chinese people are not Christian, is seems safe to assume that Christmas is not a major holiday. However a Google search :) indicates there are signs of Christmas all over China, especially the major cities, including decorating their houses with Christmas trees, cooking and eating special food, and spending time with family and friends.

Christians in China celebrate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper lanterns and decorating their Christmas trees, which they call “Trees of Light”, with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. Chinese children hang muslin stockings and await a visit from Santa, whom they call Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run) which means, “Christmas Old Man.”

Interestingly, while Christians make up only approximately one percent of the Chinese population, almost two-thirds of the world’s Christmas trees and decorations are made in southern China. In factories staffed predominantly with Buddhist workers who scarcely have any idea of the meaning of Christmas, the Santas, lights and tinsel that mark the West’s biggest festival are churned out at a relentless pace.

So while I suppose we will never know if this will be Hope and Faith’s first Christmas celebration, it will certainly be a memorable one and their first with their forever family. The tree is up (decorated, most likely with decorations from China), the lights have been strung on the house, there’s a great yard decoration of tree and Christmas angels, “the stockings are hung by the chimney with care” and as you know they’ve already had a visit to Santa! Mom says that while they like to look at the tree they don’t touch, not even the presents under it – what’s up with that! We’ve got to get these girls trained properly!! Where's Aunt Karen when we need her?

This will certainly be a memorable Christmas for all of us ~ a time to remember Christmases past with love and fond memories and look forward to new beginnings and making great new memories.

The twins with their first Christmas tree

These are pictures I took this past weekend here in New York City and thought I'd share them with you.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Saks Fifth Avenue

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
(and no, I wasn’t suppose to be taking pictures
but I didn’t use my flash :)