JD's been after a new bike for ages, so we went to a few bike shops today and settled on a blue mountain bike. We bought his last bike when he was five years old! This one is a (very) early Christmas present. It made sense for him to get a decent 6 months of usage out of it before we head to the UK, rather than leave it until late December. We're hoping his newfound enthusiasm might lead to a little bit of weight loss, too!
We had a great Christmas Day. JD opened his stocking presents in bed in the morning. Then, we opened our main presents after lunch. JD was delighted to get everything he had hoped for - Lego, drone, earphones, tent, cooking tools, Frazzles etc. We even had a surprise Christmas Spelling Test, where JD won cash prizes for every English spelling he got right! I got a Lego Death Star with 4200 pieces!
Then Jiajia pulled out all the stops with a traditional Christmas dinner - roast chicken with all the trimmings, plus crackers and mince pies!
Once my birthday is done and dusted, the pressure is on (from JD) to put up our Christmas decorations. This year he was keen to pitch in with his own ides of what to put where, and how to decorate the "showing its age" tree! We'll gradually add presents underneath it, over the next fortnight, to build up the excitement. Jiajia is already scoring the internet for cheap and cheerful stocking fillers, Christmas crackers, sweets, mince pies and presents!
One of JD's Christmas presents from me was a jar full of 300 slips of paper, each one containing a statement about him. He pulls one out each morning and reads it aloud.
About 90% of the slips have something positive and encouraging ("JD, you make friends easily" or "JD, you can ride a bike pretty fast") while the others are less so ("JD, you don't know your 12 times table" or "JD, your feet are stinky"). Something to enjoy throughout the year!!
We celebrated Christmas a day late as everyone was working and/or studying on the day itself. JD woke to not one, but three full stockings - his (successful) attempt to trick Santa into extra gifts! Then, after dinner, we opened all our presents - those for Ma, Jiajia and myself combined being less than those for JD alone! Lucky boy!
It took me about 5 hours but I've finally completed my main Christmas present - a Star Wars AT-AT Walker. Over 1400 pieces. Fully functional.
Seems like Santa visited last night. The snacks left out for him and Rudolph were nibbled and consumed, and JD's stockings were filled.
JD had decided to try and trick Father Christmas this year by leaving two stockings out in the hope that Santa would fill both. Santa duly obliged and at 8am Jiajia and I heard the pattering of not-so-tiny feet as JD came in and opened his presents with us. After his 2-hour home-schooling and lunch, we'll start on the pile of presies under the tree!
With Jiajia at work and JD at school, it was a low-key Christmas Day for me at home today. So we've arranged for Santa to visit tonight and we'll celebrate our Christmas tomorrow.
My UK family did manage a lovely little get-together on Zoom today though, which included catching up on all our news, a fun quiz and some heartfelt words of mutual appreciation - something which can all too often go unsaid. Happy Christmas, everyone!
Decorating a little early this year to brighten up the gloomy 2020...
We celebrated Christmas last weekend, since Christmas day itself is a normal school/work day here. JD hung up his stocking on Saturday and left out biscuits & milk for Santa and and a carrot for Rudolph. He then woke at 2.00am, 4.30am and finally 7.00am! Just too excited!
His favourite present this year is a "hoverboard" [see above, right] and he spent Christmas morning whizzing around the neighbourhood!
We also shared a nice meal with our American friends Saturday night which, whilst not quite turkey and brussel sprouts, was still very tasty (Chinese hotpot). We even had Santa photo-bombing our post-meal photo!
One of JD's ex-teachers gave him a choice of Christmas presents - a dancing robot or a 180 piece coloured pencil set. Pleasingly, he went for the latter. So this last weekend he and I together drew a huge picture of an aircraft carrier (JD's latest obsession) complete with sharks, tanks, octopus and flower pot!
We celebrated our Christmas this last weekend as we are all working on the actual day. JD woke at 6am to see what Santa had bought him [see above] and then we played with various toys throughout the day, opening all our presents after lunch. JD seemed more interested in making a junk plane from the boxes which the present came in at one point [bottom, left]. Then JiaJia managed a delicious roast dinner [bottom, right] in the evening to round off a very enjoyable day.
Merry Christmas to all my blog readers!!
Christmas is fast approaching but it is largely a theoretical celebration here. Christmas Day itself will be full working day for me - six hours of watching students perform role-plays for their final exam. We may actually trick JD into thinking that Saturday and Sunday beforehand are actually Christmas, so he has more time to enjoy the fun and the presents which are slowly gathering under our tiny tree! We can probably cook some sort of vaguely Christmassy meal then too. Our tiny flat is barely decorated this year since we are about to move back into our old flat which is three times the size. But I fear by the time we get settled in there Christmas will be long forgotten! Oh well!
We're back at my parents' in Sidcup, Kent for another full and fun week. We visited "Lark in the Park" a community event my parents' church helps to put on. JD got his face painted as Spiderman, and took part in various activities such as painting, pets and puppets. We also visited Hall Place, a Tudor house which was hosting a Lego exhibition.
Then at Cooling Garden Centre, we watched a Bird of Prey show and JD got to handle an owl. And finally my Mum and Dad put on a "belated" Christmas celebration complete with a tree, roast dinner, crackers, carols and presents. How do we fit it all in?
Past blog entries