According to recent data, in America alone – the average person will spend almost $50 dollars on Christmas lights. Altogether, America is expected to spend $6.5 billion USD on Christmas lights alone.
This year, instead of spending money on lights, what if Christians spent it on sharing the message of Jesus? Instead of spending money to purchase new lights, what if the “Light of the World” was shared with a child in rural China?
The holiday season is upon us yet again, and while most people don’t associate China with Christmas, the holiday is becoming more and more popular in the Middle Kingdom. For the past month, the Christmas spirit has been alive and well here in Beijing – in subway stations, shopping centers, restaurants, and bars all across the city. Everywhere you go, the sounds of “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” follow you.
Department stores are stocked and ready to help people “deck the halls”, with Christmas trees, stockings, tinsel, ornaments, and any other Christmas trinket you could imagine prominently on display. In malls all over town, there are Christmas sales drawing throngs of holiday shoppers. While many people here do not know or understand the history and traditions of this holiday, one thing is clear – they sure love the shopping that accompanies it.
To help get you in the holiday spirit, here are some vocabulary words in Chinese that you’ll need to talk about Christmas:
Christmas Eve (圣诞夜 – shèng dàn yè)
Christmas (圣诞节 – shèng dàn jié – lit. “the birth of a saint holiday”)
Jesus (耶稣 – yē sū)
Santa Claus (圣诞老人 – shèng dàn lǎo rén – lit. “Christmas old person”)
sleigh (雪橇 – xuě qiāo)
reindeer (麋鹿 – mí lù)
Christmas tree (圣诞树 – shèng dàn shù)
gift/present (礼物 – lǐ wù)
stocking (圣诞袜 – shèng dàn wà)
Christmas carols (圣诞歌 – shèng dàn gē)
caroling (报佳音 – bào jiā yīn)
Christian (基督教徒 – jī dū jiào tú)
midnight mass (午夜弥撒 – wǔ yè mí sā)
gingerbread house (姜饼屋 – jiāng bǐng
candy cane (拐杖糖 – guǎi zhàng táng)
snowman (雪人 – xuě rén)
white Christmas (白色聖誕 – bái sè shèng dàn)
Christmas card (圣诞卡 – shèng dàn kǎ)
“The Grinch” (圣诞怪杰 – shèng dàn guài jié)
While you’re at it, you might as well practice singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in Chinese: