January 3, 2012

Melting Pot of Traditions

For five years, we've lived in China and shared the holidays with new teammates and Chinese friends. Being away from home it's hard to carry on many of the holiday traditions we grew up with in Texas. (Imagine a room full of 40+ adults all sitting around tables playing 88 (dominoes). There's just not that many dominoes in China, and our apartments are too small.)

That's not to say we don't have any traditions. Each year, with new teammates, we get to try new traditions from all parts of North America. Each tradition has been great and we've started a collection of the traditions we plan to make our own.

Kolaches and Sweet Rolls
These are family traditions we can share while in China. With thanks to my Czech grandmother, I'm blessed with some amazing recipes. Each Christmas I cook up a batch of sweet rolls (for Christmas breakfast) and fruit kolaches to share with teammates and friends. These two are definitely worth the trips across town in search of butter, corn syrup, and pecans.

Christmas Eve candlelight service
We've done this every year in China. And now Kanyon can be "trusted" with a candle it's quite the treat. I see this one continuing for always.

Dessert (20th floor) social
We've had a dessert night with friends during the holidays for the past two years. It's fun to get all the foreigners together for a night of sweets and games. Everyone brings a dessert and an empty stomach.

Pickle ornament
M'Lynn asked me where this tradition came, "Did you do this in your family growing up?" Well, no. It was never really a family tradition when I was young. I learned about it in college from my uncle and his family. We've since adopted it into our own Boxing Day tradition as a little after Christmas surprise for the boys. Because what do you really do on Boxing Day anyway?

New Year's Eve Fondue
The first annual New Year's Eve fondue dinner was this year. Our teammates treated us to their family tradition of cheese fondue for dinner. Yummy G-cheese and E-cheese mixed together to create a great dip for bread, veggies, and fruits. Then ring in the New Year with chocolate fondue. Melted goodness!

Banging pots and pans out the window to celebrate the New Year
We collected this tradition from our Canadian teammates several years ago and have continued the tradition annually. It's so loud! But not as loud as all those fireworks. Plus it's cheaper.

Happy New Year!

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