Archives For Christmas

The donors of Global Partners in Life truly came through for the special needs orphans in China! Through their generous contributions, together we were able to provide for the children and staff in many ways! Would you like to see some of them?

Spreading Christmas Cheer |

In the photograph above, you can see some of the toys, diapers, and clothes purchased for the children. The main request for gifts this year was for new warm clothes, since the children’s old clothes were worn and thin.

Spreading Christmas Cheer |

As you can see, blue jeans, coats, and jackets were purchased for the children during my trip in December. It was eleven degrees below zero Fahrenheit when I was in the city, so warm clothes are critical!

Spreading Christmas Cheer |

Out of all of the toys that were given to the children that day, I think the yo-yos were the biggest hit. These yo-yos were special, because they had some type of a plastic device you could insert into the center and then wrap the string around it. With the plastic device in place, the children could have the yo-yo spin in hesitation mode for a very long period of time, which enabled them to do some pretty cool tricks!

When I entered the orphanage, the leader and children came to greet me. Many of them were speaking and the leader started laughing. She told me that one of the children asked if I had brought them anything to eat, since I always bring them some chocolate from America. Obviously, I quickly passed out the miniature chocolate candy bars!

It was great seeing my young friends again! I am very thankful for the many gifts from our donors which enabled the children to have a great Christmas! We were also able to provide for the children’s food, utilities, toiletries, cleaning supplies, medical needs, and for the caregivers that serve the children daily.

This is what we can do when we come together for an important cause!

Having just returned from a trip to China, I am happy to share with you the beautiful and colorful Christmas decorations I found. Even though Christmas isn’t really celebrated as a holiday in China, many restaurants, hotels, and department stores decorate for the season! Would you like to know what famous designer participates also?

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas |

As you can see in the photo above, even Louis Vuitton decorates his store for Christmas in Beijing! I must admit that this was a large tree indeed!

When I arrived at my hotel in Beijing, the train arrived too early for me to check in and it was too cold to stay outside and sightsee, so I walked around the hotel and photographed some of their decorations. Would you like to see them?

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas |

One of the hotel’s restaurants is just beyond the glass case you see on the back left of this photo. I will show you the case and how the employees were dressed this year!

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas |

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas |

It Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas |

The photo above was taken outside a mall at about 4:30 PM. Yes, it gets that dark that early in this city! It was crazy cold this day and the wind was blowing, so I felt sorry for the workers decorating this display. They definitely were not Grinches that day!

May you have the merriest of Christmases!


For those of you that know my wife, you know she spent many years in the real estate industry before going into the medical field. There were only a few things the she didn’t like in the real estate industry — like rude clients, teammates that didn’t work hard, and unrealistic people in regard to the value of their property. There is, however, one thing that still bothers her today that has to do with real estate, so would you like to know what it is?

Merry Christmas - Even in August |

Merry Christmas - Even in August |

You guessed it! She hates houses where Christmas decorations are left up all year long, and my trip to China in August reminded me of this. It seemed odd to see Christmas decorations out when it was over 90 degrees! You can see in the reflection in the photo above and on the right that I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so it was hot! This was not an isolated sighting, as I came across other violators of the good real estate habits!

Merry Christmas - Even in August |  Merry Christmas - Even in August |

Believe it or not, I wasn’t looking for these Christmas decorations, but I just kept coming across them time after time on this trip. My wife is far from a Scrooge, but she has taught me it is in poor taste to leave your Christmas decorations up all year long.

This was something that just caught my eye on this latest trip. I encourage you to travel when you can, and have your camera ready, because you never know what you may see!

Enjoy your travels!

Over the years and during my many trips to China (56, but who is counting?), I have seen an increase in the number of Christmas decorations. Initially, only hotels in larger cities with many foreign patrons would be sparsely decorated; but now restaurants, department stores, and especially hotels like to decorate for Christmas.

Would you like to see some of the Christmas decorations I recently saw in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

Christmas Decorations in China

These two photographs above were also taken in a hotel lobby. You can see how exhausted Santa’s Elf looks, so hopefully that means there were many children on the nice list! Also, you can see a street lamp with a snowy windmill scene in it. Did I mention I was in China?

Christmas Decorations in China

I like the color blue in the picture below, so I like the contrasting colors of red, green, and blue in this decoration. This was actually on the ceiling of a hotel lobby. I am not sure what the hot air balloon has to do with our traditional Christmas decorations, but I guess if Rudolph got sick, Santa could use the hot air balloon to deliver the toys to all of the children!

So there you have a quick tour of Christmas decorations in China. Don’t worry, I saw many traditional Christmas trees, snowflakes, and Santa too!

In an era when most children have an extremely long Christmas wish list filled with expensive electronics, it was extremely humbling to hear the leader of the special needs orphanage in China supported by Global Partners in Life say that all she wanted for the children’s Christmas was shoes — warm shoes. It was equally exciting to provide for this need!


Thanks so much to the donors of Global Partners in Life, who provided the funds for the warm shoes, as well as many other gifts for the children. It was a powerful moment for me to see a child that struggles to walk get excited about trying on their new shoes and walking in them!


It was amazing that some of the children even wrote and drew thank you notes, which you can see below. In my many years of going to the special needs orphanage and providing gifts, this may have been the first time the children created thank you notes!

A Special Request for Christmas

This request for warm shoes refreshed my memory on how much we have to be thankful for and how much we take for granted. I have often said that these children are my teachers, because they show me how to be happy and content in all situations. They have been abandoned by their parents, have physical disorders, and yet the smallest things make them very happy and content. I truly need to be more like them!

Thanks so much to the people that support my young teachers and the work of Global Partners in Life!

Even though Christmas isn’t an officially recognized holiday in China, it is common to see plenty of holiday decorations. Many of the nicer hotels and department stores go all out with their decorations, and that is always interesting to see.

During a recent trip to China, I saw a combination of Chinese and western decorations together. So, what does it look like when East meets West in regard to Christmas decorations?

When East Meets West for Christmas

This photo was taken outside a mall that had holiday decorations displayed. The large green golf ball looking thing is actually part of a science education center for children, and at the other end of that building is where I have taught a time or two.

When East Meets West for Christmas

These certainly look different in the sunshine! If you are familiar with the song “Christmas in Dixie,” that wouldn’t apply in this location!

In this city there are several large department stores, part of a chain which is based in France, and they have many brightly colored options for your holiday decorations. You can even get a tree already decorated — and if you forget to say Merry Christmas, your tree can say it for you!

When East Meets West for Christmas

Maybe I should have this blog displayed again around the first of July. We will all probably be dreaming of a white Christmas at that time of the year!

Where have you seen the most interesting Christmas decorations?

Each winter, I bring gifts, food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life. Actually, I do this during my visits throughout the year, but it is a particular focus during winter, when we celebrate Christmas and China celebrates their largest holiday, the Lunar New Year. Just a few weeks ago, I thought I had made some excellent decisions about the gifts I purchased for the children, but I quickly found out I was wrong . . . at least according to one young fellow. Can you guess where I made my mistake?

Sorry, Only Two Can Play This Game

The board game in the photograph above was a game the children knew how to play. When the game was opened, two of the older boys set up the board and began to play. The younger fellow finished playing with a different new toy, and got interested in the board game being played by the two older guys. When the younger fellow was told that only two could play the new game, to say he was upset would be an understatement! I quickly realized my mistake and made a note to myself for the purchase of future games.

After the emotions faded from not being able to play right away, my little friend remained focused on the game. Perhaps he was trying to learn how to play, or maybe he was learning some of the strategy involved. One thing I am certain about, he didn’t like not being allowed to play the new game when he wanted to play. I think he was ecstatic when he finally was allowed to play it!

Even though there was a rocky period with this one particular game, the children are always so enthusiastic to receive their gifts! Unfortunately, they don’t receive many during the year. A special thanks goes out to those that give so generously to the work of Global Partners in Life. We love putting smiles on the faces of the children and meeting their needs!

Would you like to help us? Visit to learn more!

Thanks to the contributions received from the very generous donors to Global Partners in Life, we were able to provide many gifts for the children at the special needs orphanage we support. Right after our Christmas, the children prepared to celebrate their lunar new year called Chun Jie, I was able to provide them with toys to play with while they are out of school.  Would you like to see them?

Who Wants to Volunteer to Clean Up?

Some of the toys could fly, some could bounce, and some others were stackable. It is always interesting and fun to see how the children will play with their new toys. Unfortunately, it snowed that day, so some of the toys — like a badminton set — couldn’t be used immediately.

Who Wants to Volunteer to Clean Up?

Some toys even come with their own containers, so that helps with keeping all of the pieces together. This also helps with the cleaning process. Speaking of the cleaning process, I got a cute surprise when it was time to clean up the toys, as you can see in the photograph below.

Who Wants to Volunteer to Clean Up?

One of the younger boys lined up all of the balls and loaded them in his wheelbarrow to do his part in participating with the cleanup. He was actually the one who made the most noise and biggest mess with the toys, so it was amazing to see him using other toys to help clean up. He was a smart little guy, and he had a good day… thanks to our wonderful donors!

To learn more about the orphans we support, visit!

I am 57 years old, and I have never had a white Christmas! Perhaps living near Atlanta, GA, doesn’t help in my quest for one. I think having a white Christmas would be wonderful, and I almost had one this year. I was in China shortly after Christmas, and they had snow, so do you want to see what an almost white Christmas looked like for me?

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Someone had the Christmas spirit, and they decided to place a Christmas tree in the playground area of an apartment complex. Knowing how the wind blows in this city, I am surprised the tree was still standing! Across the street, there is a park, and it had a lovely view during my visit. I have actually seen people playing ping pong in this park when there was more snow on the ground than this.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

I think the snow is so beautiful while it is falling and when it is nice and clean. It amazes me how quiet it makes the area . . . but there is a bad side to the snow. In my opinion, snow becomes ugly when it is driven on and becomes dirty.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

There are other negative side effects of the snow, the cold being one of them. I took this picture where a man had a bike repair cart on a busy street corner. He was doing all he could to stay warm, and judging from the suit on the wall, I think he had employed this technique before.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Oh well, I guess I will continue to look forward to a white Christmas, and be happy when I don’t have one!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

At my age I understand there are many things I don’t understand; some because they just aren’t things of my generation. Having traveled a little, I also know that there are some cultural things I don’t understand, and that is to be expected. Having said that, there are other times when you come across something and your mind just can’t get the message.

This happened to me recently as I was traveling in China. Many of the nicer hotels and department stores decorate for Christmas, so I am accustomed to seeing traditional Christmas decorations in China like the ones pictured below.




You can imagine my confusion when I saw the items in the next picture. They were on display in my hotel beside the traditional Christmas decorations, but I am afraid I don’t get it!


If anyone has an explanation for these new Christmas decorations, please share it with me. Maybe I am completely missing something I need to know about, or worse, I may find myself committing a cultural mistake!