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Celebrating the Holidays in China

December 31, 2009

Making snowman decorations.


Spending my first holiday season away from home has been hard, but there are so many things I’ve been able to experience in China the last month which make it all worth it.  

During the three weeks leading up to Christmas, I taught the kids a new song every week and had a corresponding craft activity.  Week one: Frosty the Snowman and snowman garland; week two: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Reindeer made from tracing hands and feet; week three: Must be Santa and Santa Claus made from cotton and colored paper.  The kids loved it, and I’ll admit…I had just as much fun!  I also made an advent calendar, which we looked at each day during class.  This allowed the kids to learn 25 new Christmas-themed vocabulary words.  Who said learning wasn’t fun?!? 

For our class Christmas party I had four stations with various activities for the kids: pin the nose on Rudolph, candy relay, snowflake making, and Christmas card making.  Even though Christmas is not the big production here that it is in the States (they decorate the shops in Shanghai, but most people don’t exchange gifts or celebrate on the day), teaching my Chinese students was a new way to experience the spirit of Christmas. 

Teacher's pets making Christmas cards.


Next up is New Years.  They celebrate both January 1st and Chinese New Year (based on the solar calendar) here.  Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, and I can’t wait to experience it here!  

My kids have already taught me a New Years song: 

(Sung to the melody of Oh My Darlin’ Clementine) 

Xin nian hao ya. Xin nian hao ya. Zhu he da jia xin nian hao. Wo men chang ge. Wo men tiao wu. Zhu he da jia xin nian hao. 

(Translation: Happy New Year!  Happy New Year! We wish everyone a happy new year!  We sing and we dance! We wish everyone a happy new year!) 


11 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    December 31, 2009 5:04 pm

    How cute! You look really content! Happy New Year to you and all of your students.

    • Ashley Bruckbauer permalink
      January 2, 2010 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Karen! We had tons of fun. Now it’s time to start thinking about vacation in Thailand… 🙂

  2. Ava permalink
    January 1, 2010 11:47 am

    Ashley! What you’re doing in China is soooo amazing. I’m glad you’re doing well. I have been keeping up with your blog, but haven’t posted till now. I’m secretly jealous of what you are doing, but definitely admiring you for it. I don’t think I could do it. Glad to be able to call you a friend.

    Happy New Year! Be safe and may you have a prosperous and fulfilling new year.

    • Ashley Bruckbauer permalink
      January 2, 2010 8:57 pm

      Thanks for your comment Ava! It definitely isn’t easy, but it’s an extremely rewarding experience.

  3. Kirby permalink
    January 6, 2010 1:50 pm

    Hey Ashley!

    I have been keeping up with your blog. It is so interesting to read! I can’t believe what you are doing over in China. There’s no way I could do it. I couldn’t imagine spending the holidays away from my family but it looks like you are making the best of it. I thought of you the other day because Lisa’s daughter was asking to see our video that we had made for Dr. Edwards class and I think you are the only one that has it 🙂 That was a fun day. I hope everything else is going well. Happy Holidays!

  4. January 10, 2010 1:01 am

    Wow. So glad I found another teacher’s blog! I’m in Gwangju, South Korea teaching grades 4-6 English. From what I read and pictures I’ve seen it looks like you’re enjoying yourself as much as I am. Good that your having fun. And check out my blog, I look forward to seeing more of your posts in the future!

    Take care!
    –Khadijah ^-^

  5. Aunt Susan Klepper, Cedar Creek Lake, Pinnacle Club, Texas permalink
    February 23, 2010 6:09 pm

    Hey Ashley, Uncle Joe and I are sooooooo… proud of you! You are so brave to travel so far and for so long a time period.

    China, WOW, what a teacher too. We are so happy for you to be able to speak the language, teach the children and travel and try so many foods.

    We can not wait to see you home again and see what you have planned for your next GREAT ADVENTURE.

    We have really enjoyed all the photos and stories from you.
    We love and miss you.
    You are so awesome, keep going!
    Hugs, Aunt Susan and Uncle Joe Klepper

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    • Ashley Bruckbauer permalink*
      June 23, 2012 7:21 am

      Thank you for your comment, Monte. I’m glad that you are enjoying the site!

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