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Celebrating Christmas in Tianjin



The festive periods of Christmas and Thanksgiving can be the most exciting, yet at the same time, emotionally challenging times for expats. Even when surrounded by the great friends you have met since starting your new life abroad, it just isn’t the same as enjoying Christmas day in your native country with family and loved ones.

But the good news is that this year, Christmas in Tianjin doesn’t have to be filled with misery and despair. Pick yourself up and make the most of the festive period right here in China! When homesickness starts to kick in, here are some tips to keep you on the path of emotional stability this festive season:

• Be around friends, colleagues and other expats: It is said that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Failing that, at least you can make an effort to be around other people who are feeling the same way and try to get merry together this Christmas.

•  Get in touch with your family: It may momentarily increase your feelings of homesickness, but it’s incredibly important that you get on Skype and have a chat to your loved ones. Tell them how great your life is in Tianjin, and if your family get the hint, they will probably re-assure you that you are ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘not missing much back home’!

•  Customise your Christmas: When you lived in your native country, did you ever have the desire to do things differently but were always constrained by endless traditions, tasks and turkeys? Now is the time to do things your way! If you want to spend the day throwing darts at a picture of Santa Claus and eat Beijing Roast Duck for your Christmas dinner- do it! Create the hassle- free Christmas that you always wanted- without anybody else telling you what to eat and how to celebrate!

•  Hit the High Street (or at least Taobao): In China the shops don’t close on Christmas day. Get out and give yourself a much needed dose of retail therapy. Put a pile of cash aside especially for the Christmas period and drown yourself with great gifts. And if your family also sent some bits over, even better! You should also arrange to exchange presents with friends and colleagues if possible; as the old saying goes- ‘the more the merrier’!

And if there is one thing that you shouldn’t be doing this Christmas, it’s cooking! Don’t waste the festive season slaving away in the kitchen. There plenty of great places in Tianjin to enjoy traditional, tasty turkey dinners without having to lift a finger.

As always, most of the major hotels and expat orientated bars will be dishing out special Christmas meals throughout December. You certainly won’t have to look far to find ‘semi-western’ festive food. But when it comes to Christmas dinners in Tianjin, there is only one place to be this year; Hank’s Sports Bar & Grill. Whether you want to sit and enjoy the all you can eat Christmas buffet or order a colossal take away turkey dinner, Hank is the official Christmas Dinner King of Tianjin!

At CNY 1098 for a 6-8 person dinner set, which includes a specially imported 7KG pre-stuffed turkey, it’s a shame to not host a festive party for a few of your fellow expats. With Hank’s meal deal you can get some of the best added treats in town. The spectacular specialities include the Sweet Potato Casserole and the Carrot Souffl茅. And for a little extra cost you can enjoy Hank’s breathtaking Jalape帽o and Sweet Potato Soup, and his wonderful Apple or Chocolate Walnut Pies. All you have to do is place your order 4 days in advance then head over to pick up your fantastic Christmas party package. Alternatively, if you want to get out of the house on Christmas day, all of these tasty treats can be enjoyed on site at Hank’s for just CNY 198 per person.

However you decide to spend your Christmas this year, put the homesickness to one side and focus on enjoying the festive season right here in Tianjin!

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