Janet looks forward to the holiday ahead…
At this point in time several years ago I was preparing for Christmas in China, and remarked to a colleague that Christmas in China is rubbish. The decorations are there (to a ridiculously lavish extent), special offers are everywhere for the purchase of presents, and there is even the same CD playing on a loop in every shop you visit, but it just wasn’t right. My Christmas break was ok, but nothing special, and I put this feeling of disappointment down to the fact that it was my boyfriend’s first Christmas away from home – for him, it just isn’t Christmas if it doesn’t involve his mum’s Christmas dinner.
A couple of months later, I experienced my first Chinese New Year. Amazing. For weeks in advance, people were scurrying around hoarding food and gifts, and my colleagues became increasingly more excited while discussing their travel plans for the holidays. Literally no work was done for the month before the holiday. Aside from experiencing the most amazing firework displays I have ever seen, the lesson I really learnt that February was that ‘feeling Christmassy’ isn’t down to what you do, but what you feel; it’s about anticipation. For the fortnight before Chinese New Year, Shanghai felt like the UK feels in December. The excitement was tangible.
As I prepare for Christmas 2011 (tree is already in place), it has occurred to me that the only other time I feel a similar sense of anticipation is before I go to a new place on holiday (or, to be honest, even with work). And again, I am reminded why I love my job. It’s a cliché, but it’s nice to work for a company that makes a product that people actually want, and that they look forward to, sometimes all year (just like Christmas)! Customers work hard, save hard, spend too much and anticipate the event that gives them a break from their everyday lives.
And so, with a number of Christmas meals lined up this week, and (almost all) my Christmas shopping done, I am looking forward to the holiday ahead – it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!