Had my first Christmas in China and it truly was a merry one!
Christmas is not a national holiday in China, so life goes on very much as normal. Some cafes and outlets enter in the fun with christmas decorations and christmas soundtracks, but the atmosphere is generally relaxed and happy - a stark contrast to the last minute rush and insistent christmas themed obsession in the west.
It was just right for me - not over-the-top, not in-your-face, not forced, but pleasantly celebrated. Being in China was a refreshing break from it all and I felt lucky to be in a country not completely taken over by western traditions.
A large christmas tree was put up in the square and was twinkling proudly for all to see.
It was amusing to see the various Chinglish well-wishes posted about. I especially liked "We wishing you meery xmas"
We decided to show our eastern friends what a western christmas could look like, so, as us foreigners were kindly allowed the day off work, we invited everyone round for a roast dinner (chicken not turkey), complete with mulled wine, christmas music and a christmas tree. It was a wonderful night of genuine friendship and I did like the feeling of being in control, of celebrating the day the way we wanted to. No presents involved, as they are completely irrelevant and unnecessary (most of us being travellers with an aversion to extra baggage). That's exactly how we felt: free.