Kittens & Love Actually – Christmas in Beijing

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually …….is all around.”

This is the first year of my life that I won’t be spending Christmas with family.

Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. It has always been extremely important to me to be with family. I remember one Christmas as a teenager, the whole family pilled in the car to take the dog for a walk and we passed by a convenient store, I peered into the window at the guy working at the front desk and my heart broke for him. Although I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas, the thought of working and not being surrounded by family was incomprehensible to me. It was utterly heartbreaking.

However, obviously without my sister, Christmas doesn’t ignite the same fire within me. It’s a hard time for us. It’s just not Christmas without her. So in light of this, I made the decision to stay in Beijing for Christmas this year, rather than fly to Vancouver to be with family. I even made the decision to work on Christmas day and completely disregard the holiday entirely. This would’ve made my 18 year old self cry hysterically in fetal position.

But, it turns out my amazing friends in Beijing won’t allow me to have Christmas pass without some celebration. I told my good friend Dawn that my only request is to watch Love Actually because it’s tradition. She agreed. She and her husband are looking after a kitten and house sitting her friends place while they go home to France. So I came over, dressed down in granny glasses, sweatpants and a comfy sweater with 2 bottles of wine in hand and 2 jugs of icecream jammed in my purse. I was warmly greeted by this cute little kitten.

Needless to say, it was a great night.

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