Two of these things are Cake and Carols. Two things that God created for good that often are result of the fall here in China. When you think of "cake" you think of birthdays, weddings, retirement parties where everyone is happy that at least they get a piece of that chocolate, yellow, or coconut goodness. Everyone waits patiently for theirs, excitedly scarfing it down upon arrival. Well, except for Milton.
However, over here, you pretty much always have a cake gifted to you that is quite different. The type of cake you end up trying to avoid eating, pushing it back and for the plate like a toddler avoiding eating peas, trying to be sneaky by confusing motion for eating. Many times there is fruit on top. Mangos, oranges, bananas, kiwis, etc. Not only that, sometimes pinto beans and others. Sometimes melon. Often times there is cream in the middle that can make even the strongest of stomachs gag. The icing is normally bland because Chinese dont really like sweets as much as us.
Many of these things are good, but mixed together they get old fast. You try to separate the fruit from the cake, but that's futile too. And you have to eat SOME of it since normally its a student/teacher being polite and spending their own money to add to the party.
The other thing is carols. They are great, but after the 27th singing of Silent Night, you begin to just yearn for silence and can forget about that Silent Night the Savior was born. Many of these carols help us get in the Christmas spirit, making us thankful and humble. It does that, through the lyrics, yes, but also from trying to sing fast lyrics in Mandarin.
I may sound like a Scrooge or a Grinch, but I don't think I have the capacity to sing the same songs several times a week, no matter how good or catchy it is. Thankfully there are different seasons and different ways to worship Jesus, not all of which include Away in a Manger or Red Bean and Apple Cream Cake.
I'll have to start looking for some John Piper-approved, Christ-glorifying, Man-satisfying Festivus songs and some less confused cake types around here.