Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our China Christmas: The Day

 Christmas morning. Ellie could care less, while Hadassah is super excited that it's time to finally open the presents that have been tantalizing her under the tree for the past week! We survived with only a few pieces of wrapping paper torn before we caught her in her curiosity. ;) It's so hard to understand why you have to WAIT for presents for a two year old!

But when I got her up that morning and took her potty, I told her it was Christmas morning, and she said "We get to open ALL the presents!"

 One of the best presents by far was the "water wonder" book from a friend. It's made by the Melissa and Doug brand, and has a pen you fill with water that they use to color the page and reveal colors and objects. When it dries, it turns white again and can be re-colored. Hadassah did it nearly all day that day, and has continued. It will keep her occupied for 20 minutes sometimes, so it's a great toy to allow me to nurse Ellie or get some chores done!

 We mostly gave her books and puzzles, including this elephant one we told her was just like "elephant buddy" (a beloved stuffed animal). She was excited. :) Friends also brought a lot of presents to the Christmas party, so we had a lot of presents to open! It took a while too, since she just wanted to play with whatever she opened instead of opening them all at once.

The most exciting present: a swing!! Hadasash had loved swinging in America, but here in China there are no outdoor swings, at least close to where we live. Some friends had indoor swings, so we decided to get Hadassah one for Christmas. It hangs from a strong tension pull-up bar. It was going to be in her doorway, but the bar was just a tad too wide, so we put it in the entry way instead, which actually works quite well!

 Art in red and green peppers for Christmas morning breakfast...

 Delectable omlettes
 Strawberries by candlelight
 Cinnamon roll goodness!

Funny thing is, with all these goodies, I also pulled out some leftover steamed broccoli for Hadassah. So after she had finished her cinnamon roll and eggs and broccoli, what does she say? "I want some more broccoli!" That's my girl... somehow she loves her veggies!

 Cuties in matching pjs!

 Amused Christmas baby :)

We had some friends (actually the ones in our very building) come for Christmas dinner, which was fun. Nice too, to split the cooking. She made amazing cheesy potatoes, goat cheese dip, and pie, while I made roast beef, roasted brussel's sprouts and biscuits. Unfortunately the roast beef turned out pretty tough and honestly not great... It was my first time ever trying it, and it had been out of stock earlier so we got it delivered that day and it arrived frozen, so we had some stressful time trying to get it defrosted and figuring out how to cook it. Obviously I need more practice, but large cuts of meat are expensive so we rarely get them. But everything else was delicious, and we enjoyed having friends to be with, especially in the absence of family.

But all-in-all, it wasn't as lonely as I expected my first Christmas away from extended family to be. I did have a moment while I was doing the dishes, alone in the kitchen, where I missed the hustle and bustle of my sisters around and the games that were always going on... But we are blessed here. Choosing to embrace the opportunities and memories we can make here!


  1. For good roast beef. Find a crock pot is best. I place the roast in the crockpot and rub salt and pepper on it. Then I use a can of cream of chicken soup and a can of cream of mushroom soup. You can also add potatoes, carrots and onions. I usually mix my potatoes carrots and onions with a little olive oil, a teaspoon and a half of cilantro, tablespoon of civets and parsley and 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Place over roast and cook for 5-6 hour on high or 8 hours on low. You can use the creamed soups on any of your meats. It makes a delicious gravy. Your day sounds wonderful. Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks so much for the recipe! That sounds great! Unfortunately I don't have a crockpot here (the one I brought got fried when I plugged it into the wrong outlet on the converter) but it's on my list to buy. Tried buying one online but it never showed up... Hoping to get one soon because I so miss cooking with it!

  2. Red and Green Breakfast Omelets - brilliant! =) I'm glad your family so enjoyed your first Christmas together in China! Looks like you made some fantastic memories. =)

    1. Thanks! :) Funny thing is it wasn't planned... was going to do omelets, and I usually have green peppers in them, but this time happened to have both red and green ones leftover from the party. So it ended up perfectly! ;)