The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

16 12 2012

How do those of us living in Hong Kong know that Christmas is approaching?  Well, since it hasn’t snowed here in over 37 years, and since the temperatures have been unseasonably warm recently (70-75° F; 20-24° C) we have had to rely on a couple of other indicators to remind us that it is Christmastime.

One of the first signs in Hong Kong that reminds Christmas-in-HK-2012-016us that Christmas is getting near is the appearance of Christmas displays around town.  It seems as though each of the countless shopping malls spread across Hong Kong go out of their way each year to put together the most unique Christmas display for shoppers to come and look at.  Over the years we have seen every imaginable color of Christmas tree, along with numerous characters in these displays that go beyond what we traditionally associate with Christmas.  In fact, this year at one of the malls closest to us, they have an orange Christmas tree with a Garfield theme!

But in addition to those Christmas displays and signs in shop windows advertising Christmas specials, there’s one more indicator that lets us know that Christmas is near: Christmas music.  In stores, malls, and just about any place where music is played, the songs and carols of Christmas (in English) can be heard across Hong Kong. It is true that many businesses use the Christmas season as just another marketing ploy, but when else can you hear music about Jesus played in shopping centers day after day?

Today as I walked through a mall, I stopped to see if I could hear any Christmas songs being played.  At first I couldn’t hear anything with all the noise from the hustle and bustle of people Christmas-in-HK-2012-004all around.  But then just when I thought that the carols had been drowned out by the sound of shoppers, I stepped into one of the many stores in this mall, and was greeted by the sound of beautiful voices singing “When a Child is Born”, followed by “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.  Hearing those songs reminded me again of the real reason for Christmas – a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

So while those of us here in Hong Kong won’t be going out caroling in the snow this year, it still is the most wonderful time of the year – a time to share true joy, peace and hope with those around us.  Take time to slow down from the busyness of shopping and preparing for Christmas to listen to and maybe even sing some Christmas carols this year – celebrate Jesus and all that His coming to earth means to the world and to us personally!

Until next time,

Joel & Debbie