After earning my MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 1999, we moved to China to start putting my degree to work. One of the most fun parts of language-teaching is sharing holidays with students (both their holidays, and ours). Christmas is officially celebrated in over 100 countries, so of course, we wanted our students to get a taste of this international holiday. We love Christmas colors, songs, decorations, movies, treats, and so much more. Over the years, we took countless photos of our Christmas parties. Most years, we held classes about the holidays, and showed movies on campus. Although China started banning such celebrations in about 2010, the holiday is so popular that we continued to have Christmas parties throughout December. Here are a few photos of our joyous times of celebration, and especially the times students helped us decorate our Christmas trees.
You can find a number of resources to help you teach or celebrate Christmas (and other holidays) on our other website: EFLsuccess.com.
In 2000, we were still taking photos with a “real” camera (using film). However, I also had a “new” digital camera that produced very grainy photos, as you’ll see below. By 2004, the quality had improved greatly, though bandwidth limited the size of what we could post online. I eventually settled on a width of 1100px, which looks good on a smartphone and yet doesn’t take up much space (in MB). We hope you enjoy these photos. [By the way, though my 2020 smartphone takes very nice photos, I miss my Nikon FM (“Fully Manual,” film) camera, and its multiple lenses, filters, depth of field control, special flashes, etc.]
If you look closely at the photos on this page, you’ll see that we lived in Shanghai, Xi’an, Kunming, Xiamen, and Hong Kong.
Above, I mentioned “Advent”; to learn more, visit our other website: EFLsuccess.com/advent/
Whenever I wonder if I ever made a difference during all those years as a teacher in China, I look at these photos. They help us remember the joy we shared as we introduced students and friends to the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the person who split history between BC and AD, and who still lives to bring JOY and PEACE to those who seek him.
2020 and later
We unexpectedly moved back to South Carolina in 2019, not knowing how COVID-19 would soon change all of our lives. But Christmas still comes and goes, and we still love sharing it with international friends.