We enjoying sharing Christmas traditions with our friends. Here are some
photos from Christmas 2006 in Kunming.
here to see photos from former Christmases.) Click here for an article
called "Who is Santa Claus" and
here for an article that tells about the
first Christmas (the root of this wonderful holiday).
Gimli's first crowd was this group of former students and current
classmates who came to help decorate our Christmas tree on Dec 3, the
first Sunday of Advent. Michael
is handing out ornaments and explaining the ones with special stories. We
all had a good time, and Gimli behaved well around all these strangers.
The inset photos show Andrew sitting in her playpen, and a student helping
to entertain her. Gimli also slept a lot of the time.
The second Sunday of Advent was game night. However, it
must have been a busy night for students because only one showed up.
Nonetheless, we played Life (including Gimli) and all had a great time.
Andrew lost the game, but he enjoys finally being taller
than our students!
It's a Wonderful Life on the third Sunday of
Advent, but before the show our students helped Vivian put together gift bags for
some of the orphans we help in Yunnan.
put on a nice Christmas pageant in late December. Andrew is the middle
shepherd (in a dark red cape); he also helped move things in the dark
On Dec. 23,
Michael got to go with local friends to a Miao minority village, to enjoy
their Christmas celebration. We had rented two buses (the one in the photo
is a police coach), drove about 1.5 hours down the "Burma Road," and then
hiked 45 minutes up into the hills. The village brothers and sisters had
made us a delicious meal, and then three choirs performed several
Christmas songs, including selections from Handel's Messiah. It was truly
a beautiful celebration!
Once we finally
arrived, the people warmly welcomed us with joyful songs. The scenery up
on the mountain was beautiful; as we passed this barn, the lowing cows
reminded me of the first Christmas, and of the manger which served as
Jesus' first bed. It was a powerful reminder that Christmas is about the
Almighty becoming one of us, and coming into our world out of love for
common people like those we enjoyed fellowship with that day.
this "could it be?" expression as Andrew opened an electronic component
for a remote-control Lego car he has wanted for a long time. He couldn't
believe it was actually under our Christmas tree. On the right, he
finishes building the car, and then adapts it to help "sweep" under the
Gimli got a few
presents, too (we found an "indestructible Kong toy" in Hong Kong), and
she helped open our presents by tearing the paper off! It was both her
first Christmas, and the one-month anniversary of her arrival in our