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Huanying Santa! A Very Merry Beijing Christmas

http://www.chinese.cn 16:15, December 20, 2010 CRIENGLISH.com

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Christmas is just around the corner and many foreigners in Beijing are anxiously preparing for the long flight home in order to spend Christmas with their families. Still, there are many more that will spend yet another Beijing-style Christmas here with friends.

Beijing-style Christmas

For expatriates living in Beijing, perhaps it was employment ambition, curiosity, or even a crazy impulse that drove them to uproot their lives and move half way around the world to an unfamiliar place.

Inescapably, living abroad is difficult around the holidays as many come to a sudden realization that the world at home does go on without them. Relatives do grow older every year, nieces and cousins get taller every visit, and babies are born.

Unfortunately for many, flying across the globe is both too far and too expensive, so staying in Beijing is the only option.

Therefore, for those only get to see their families once or twice a year, China gives December 25 a new meaning.

For many Westerners, the idea of Christmas awakens childhood memories of a glowing Christmas tree with delicately strung twinkling lights, tinsel and ornaments hovering over brightly wrapped presents in crisp paper.

Everywhere, children typically wake up at the crack of dawn to excitedly thrash their parents out of bed and rush downstairs to see what gifts Santa has left under the tree.

We asked some Beijing expats what their family traditions at Christmas entail in their countries.

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