Christmas is two weeks away, and this year, it truly is a white Christmas. Temperatures have been below zero. So it's a little cold and a little slippery, but we are very blessed.
We started celebrating a little early this year, since my (Kevin's) parents were able to join us mid-November. Almost everyone who comes to our apartment comments how warm it is. It's comfortable whether wearing short or long sleeves.
Many of the artificial trees for sale here are gold, red, blue, hot pink or white, but we were so thankful to find a vendor who sold us a green Christmas tree. The kids were really excited for us to put it up as soon as we brought it home.
We were able to buy some ornaments here; my mom helped the kids make more. My parents brought the children's nativity set, which is to the right of the tree. The nativity is fun for the kids, and it's also a great conversation starter with friends who come for a visit. Also, the organization we're with performed a drama about the first Christmas in Bethlehem. Many people know about Santa Claus and Christmas trees, but few know the true reason for the holiday.
Hudson and Molly made quite an impression as sheep. I played the role of Gabriel; I opted to forgo the halo.
It was hard to keep a straight face when I startled the sheep with good news of great cheer, but Hudson was very gracious. He told me later, "You were a good angel, daddy." Well, they did an even better job as sheep.
I was glad to be able to share more about the good news of great cheer at the end of the drama. For many in the audience, this was their first exposure to Bethlehem and a baby born in a manger.
Like kids in America, our kids can't wait for Christmas. All and all, they are doing very well. They have won many hearts here in China.