Happy Holidays and 2014!
Last winter break, the whole fam was in Beijing so we spent Christmas at our grandparents house and NYE in our pajamas watching Downton Abbey. This year, my only request was that we not go anywhere and just stay at home -- and it was all I could ask for. I was able to sleep in until 8 or 9 most days (depending on how ambitious I was feeling), eat some of my favorite foods, spend an obscene amount of time plopped in front of the TV, and catch up with lots of my friends (some of whom I only get to see once a year).
For Christmas this year, we had our big dinner of hot pot on Christmas eve, took Charlie on a long cold walk, and then opened presents! The next morning, we abided by the cliche and headed out to the movie theater with all the other Asians and Jews to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was a good family movie, but not much more substance than what was in the trailers, so I wouldn't really recommend it.
Christmas 2013: various shots to get Charlie's good side
Our NYE party is our biggest family tradition every year. It was especially memorable his year because we skipped it last year and hadn't seen some of our family friends for 2-3 years, the length of their kid's entire college experience. Before I knew it, kids that I had last seen when they were seniors in high school or just starting college were now seniors in college and accepting offers for their first jobs! Oh how fast we've grown up, especially since I've known them for over 15 years. My parents go all out by cooking their most impressive dishes (bao zi, roast duck, shui zhu fish), we stuff our faces for multiple rounds, then play games and watch movies in the basement (yesterday it was Stardust). I've never really had the quintessential party and freeze your butt off NYE that all my friends have seemed to have because I've always been at my family's New Year's party, and I don't regret it at all. I have the people I care about most around me every NYE and I couldn't ask for more. Cheers to a relaxing winter break, family traditions, and to an even better New Year!
The kids table, all grown up!
Charlie had to sneak in there