Let the Christmas Party Season Begin!

So it turns out that we didn’t need to spike the punch. At our first Christmas party of the year, there was more beer and MaoTai (Chinese Vodka) punch then I have seen in some bars! It was a fun evening. We didn’t even have time for the silly party games. (Whew…what a relief.) Most of the evening was taken up with eating, handing out Secret Santa gifts and, for me, posing for a photo with just about every student there – close to 150! I think everyone really enjoyed themselves, and it was interesting to mingle with the students in a social setting. The relaxed setting allowed even the more shy students the opportunity to talk with instructors. I received a big box of Dove chocolates as a gift from my Secret Santa and I have already made good use of it.

Now we are preparing for our 2nd party of the season – the grand opening of the Mansion Hotel, which is really called the Oujing Holiday Hotel (pronounced O-jing). They have it all decked out with lights, huge floating red lanterns and inflatable red arches over the driveway, which are part of traditional Chinese celebrations. We are to arrive at 1500 for a tour, and from what we have heard, it is pretty darn luxurious!!! I can’t wait!!! Then at 1800 the dinner and party will begin, ending with fireworks at 2100. I will get lots of pictures and share all the details tomorrow, before our 3rd feast at the World Trade Plaza Hotel in the city.

It’s absolutely fabulous celebrating the holidays in China! We are even planning on spending New Year’s in Beijing next weekend. I hope your holidays are great wherever you are!

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