Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

(VIDEO) Asking Chinese Students: What Do you Want for Christmas?


In this video I ask students in China what they want for Christmas, and it turns out that ordinary apples are the Christmastime Tickle-Me-Elmo of China. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean. Students here love apples, and they want to wish you a Merry Chinese Christmas.

It was fun filming these students and their responses because Chinese college students are outrageously friendly. A small group of students congregated nearby and helped recruit interviewees once they saw that I was making a video. I was almost overwhelmed by how many students wanted to answer my question.

The Christmas spirit is gaining popularity in China, but western holidays and traditions have a little Chinese twist. Namely, there’s a Chinese tradition of giving away apples to friends and loved ones every Christmas Eve. That’s why so many students asked solely for an apple in the video.

People in China give apples to each other on Christmas Eve because Christmas Eve is called “Ping An Ye” in Chinese, which means ‘silent night.’ The word for apple is “Ping guo.” Because the words sound so similar, the exchange of apples has become a symbol of Chinese Christmas spirit. The giving and receiving of apples is an exchange intended to bring good health and protection to the lucky recipients.

chinese christmas

Decorative apples delivered right to my door, Chinese Christmas style.

Since today is Christmas Eve, a couple of my students stopped by my apartment to deliver apples wrapped in decorative paper. I’ve already torn open one of the apples and devoured it. The next apple must wait until Christmas morning for it’s demise.

Hope you enjoy the video. Merry Christmas!

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. What a wicked film! What level are these students? Have a peaceful Christmas and looking forward to many more outstanding videos. I’ll be hitting China next year for sure. Will be working Christmas, but I don’t really care. No one to share it with here.


    • Most of these students are college freshmen, but some are older. Merry Christmas Stevie!

      • I find it amazing that most of them are wanting to be with their family. Seems to be very different then here in the States. I may e-mail you Kevin. I would like to discuss with you about your experiences so far in China. I think I may do the same after graduation.

  2. Wow beeg. This video brought me to tears. I liked when one guy said, i want my sister to be happy everyday! They’re all so humbling. Very nice job beeg

  3. I want my son to be happy EVERY DAY!!

  4. this is adorable …. they re so pure and innocent and they actually really tried to speak English and it’s the best part of the video

  5. you could do a funny video, by asking them funny questions.

    • Yeah, I’ve been trying to think of funny interview-y ideas that might work, but abstract questions are virtually unanswerable by most Chinese students, at least at this school.

  6. Wow! Watching this video has made me want to do TEFL teaching so much more! I have been having reservations about moving to a new part of the world but this has renewed my faith in both myself and other people. Thankyou! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  7. It seems that apples are quite popular!

Let me know what you think


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: