With Christmas just two weeks away, I’ve seen several adoptive parents asking where to find Chinese or culturally themed ornaments for stocking stuffers and small Christmas presents for their children. Here is a light post, showcasing some of my Chinese themed ornaments I hung on my Christmas tree this weekend. Most of these were gifted to me by my mother over the years or purchased in China. Buying Chinese ornaments certainly isn’t an equivalent to necessary cultural socialization activities, but hanging these festive ornaments every year is a visual reminder of my cultural roots and that my parents respect and celebrate this part of my identity. If you’re curious where you can purchase some of these ornaments, I’ve provided their names and significance below.
Other Chinese cultural symbols one could look for in ornaments: phoenixes, lotus flowers (or the city tree or flower from where your child was born), jade, mahjong tiles, dragons, lanterns, fans, pagodas, the Great Wall, Zodiac animals, foods, and many more. You may not be able to find all of these in physical stores, but a little bit of online hunting should do the trick. Knowing what you’re looking for makes folding your adoptees’ Chinese culture into the Christmas decorating a little easier and gives them something special that represents one aspect of themselves to put on the tree. Merry Christmas season to those who celebrate!
1. @hallmark China: Joy to the World two piece ornament set from 2007, the year I returned to China for the first time. The Joy to the World set also has ornaments representing Norway, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, and Africa (reminder for Hallmark that Africa is not a country!).
2. @oldworldchristmas Foo Dog Chinese Guardian Lion Christmas Ornament (female), protecting our tree from harmful influences.
3. Similar to the Kurt Adler buri bristle panda ornament, because it’s China’s national animal after all. 🐼
4. Old World Christmas glass fortune cookie to represent my Chinese American fusion life. 🥠
5. This is from a set of cloisonné ornaments I purchased from a cloisonné factory in China. This art technique was introduced to China in the 13-14th centuries.
6. Old World Christmas Watermelon Wedge ornament, because all of the meals we ate in China concluded with a plate of watermelon slices. 🍉
7. I purchased this knit pig ornament from a street vendor in Beihai Park, Beijing, China during the year of the pig. 🐷
8. 1998 Hallmark Keepsake Child’s 4th Christmas Ornament gifted to me by a family friend for my second Christmas in the U.S.A. 🐼
9. Deer ornaments from a set purchased in China.
10. Chinese knot + pig ornament also purchased in China during the year of the pig. 🐖