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You are reading about: Jingle Bells

Being thousands of miles away from home isn’t exactly how most people picture celebrating Christmas. In fact, it’s a holiday that can be pretty hard to enjoy without family. So, like many expats, I did my best to recreate the Christmas experience with my students and co-workers. For the four weeks leading up to the holiday, we spent the last 10 minutes of every class practicing a few festive songs. I think for the most part the students enjoyed the challenge, and the rest liked having the time to make noise. Finally, on Christmas day, we made a call from the classroom to my grandparent’s house where my whole family was and surprised them with a seasonal medley. It was a moment I’ll never forget; 30 […]


The blog seems to be off to a great start, and I want to thank all of you for passing this on to people who might be interested. I will be posting over the break, and hope you will use a little of your precious free time to enjoy them. Now for your entertainment, my former students trying to sing Jingle Bells.


One of the most common questions I get is about how much I could talk about religion when I was working in the classroom. In the US there is a lot of confusion about how much religious freedom there is in China (more than you think, but less than there could be), but that is a gigantic issue. So a glimpse of this is how I teach Christmas. Usually I split up Christmas, into two lessons, one for Santa and one for baby Jesus. This is not just because I want the students to understand that these are separate parts of the same holiday, but I really enjoy Christmas and this lets me savor it a little longer. One year I taught a song a week for […]


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