I've started this little series called My China Pinterest.
We have tackled lighting and housewares. Today we are doing the Christmas edition. My Christmas Pinterest will not involve the color white nor nomadic elves that make arbitrary messes around your house.
We will start with the 83 oranges that loving guests leave during the winter time. To prevent your boys from playing soccer with the "furry oranges" after they have rotted out, you can cut slices into them. Grab your 4-year old while you are desperately trying to eek out adjectives with your 2nd grader and tell her to stick cloves in the slits. The lovely oranges are already tinted a soft shade of brown from dropping out of trees on your friend's farm. The combination of shading orange skin and sticky broken cloves will transport you back to a Norman Rockwell Christmas.
While trying not to feel like a Jesse Tree failure while looking at your friend April's homemade ornaments and button hanger perfection, you knock out a construction paper version that reminds you of the simplicity of the stable. It has nothing to do at all with the fact that you remembered three days late that your family does this tradition. The tree's natural lean will bring back memories of the wispy Christmas nights you spent growing up in Texas.
After pulling the foldable Christmas tree out of its dilapadated box, you realize that there is nothing to put on the top. It's the Urban Chinese version of "put a bird on it."The beautiful North Star that dawns most normal people's tree reminds them that the wise men navigated to Jesus using the stars. It reminded the wise men of where they were going. I saw a star once in China...it was in 2005. I see many more birdies in the sky than stars. This type of tree topper will remind you of where you are. Blooming where you're planted.
This my friends is how to keep stress out of decorating. You simply look around and gather bits and pieces. It will bring you back to the pioneering days of gathering kindling for the fire and axing the pig for Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas!