Lucky for me, I celebrate Christmas with family, food and wine. Church, the blood of Christ or nativity scenes rarely make or break my holiday season. Why does this make me lucky you might ask? In China, where communism rules and only five religions are permissible (Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism), Christians have a hard time celebrating any religious holiday without the fear of persecution. My employment contract had a clause insisting I will not conduct religious activities incompatible with China's policies. A large number of missionaries were expelled from Haikou and the majority of Christian run church's were shut down or forced underground. The topic of religion in China is a hot button and massively complicated, but my understanding is that it is no place to 'discover' Christianity. So for the warm hearted Christians who will be celebrating Christmas in Haikou this year, shhhh.
As for me, I will be roaming the streets with a mug full of cheer (mulled wine), an expanding waste line and mistletoe. No doubt I will be missing my family an ungodly amount... but as long as my cup is full and my man is roaming by my side, Christmas this year will be special on its own account. We even got a tiny tree.
Embrace the chaos.