Merry Christmas from Hong Kong!
Allow me to give you a tour of our holiday decorations...
Mark and I went to the Flower Market over in Kowloon to check out Christmas Trees. For many reasons we decided to go with an imitation (can't type f*ke) tree. While on the hunt we found some other little charmers to bring home and share the holiday spirit!
First up, the Santa Calendar. There are 3 apartments on each floor and ours is right next to the elevators. The other 2 apartments have kids so I was very excited to hang the Santa Calendar where the kids would see him each day and follow along in the countdown.
The cluster of Santas and snowmen is kid-friendly although I can tell they haven't been moved. They cheer me up every time I step off the elevator.
On the other side of the door, our wishes for snow go unanswered but we have had very chilly weather - it was a high of 42 the other day. Now, I know, 42 isn't that cold, but our building does not have any heating systems so after awhile that 42 seeps in... Notice my black lined rain jacket hanging on the coat rack - you know that rain when its about 50 degrees and the wind is blowing? But I didn't mind (if this had been Cleveland or Athens I would have complained). So we've bundled up with sweaters and extra blankest on the bed - frankly, its been quite cozy and helps bolster the Christmas spirit!
Next is our table. The table cloth is from our wedding last year, the candle sticks from a little store in Prince's Building and....ta da! My first "clove orange" wrapped in pretty purple ribbon. I haven't "made" one before (as if it was really challenging) and they do smell delicious - at least for the first several hours. Interestingly, clove is a preservative so by inserting these cloves into the orange, the orange stays in good shape for quite some time.
And now for the Christmas tree. We love it. True, it doesn't have the amazing scent of a fresh tree, but I have to tell you, being able to bend branches to make the ornaments stay on is the best! Oh look, a small hole - I'll just bend this branch over here. That ornament is a kinda heavy? No problem, we'll just bend the branch up a little and voila! This tree came with pre-attached pine cones, I added the red berries from our wedding decorations of last year, and instead of a traditional star, we selected a traditional Chinese decoration (the 4 red hearts draped down the side of the tree).
Mark has been traveling quite a bit (Indonesia, Guam and India in the last 4 weeks - ask him about 2 dead guys and James Cameron) and I've kept busy with work for ProLiteracy and am now part of a team providing pd support for an initiative in Minnesota. May I also share that an article on which I was lead author (and that's due to someone's great generosity) was published in the November issue of an adult education journal. I appreciate my wonderful coworkers at Central/Southeast ABLE!
My volunteer work continues with the students in Ap Lei Chau and we had our "Christmas" party this last Wednesday. I showed them how to cut snowflakes from paper, we pigged out on cookies, brownies and Ruffles (the list they gave me for the party), listened to Christmas carols and played Cranium. We're on break until January. I just received an email that a local company (Santa Fe - how appropriate for the season) has donated a junk trip in May for our club. A "junk trip" is a boat ride on a classic Hong Kong boat out on Victoria Harbor.
And! Our first wedding anniversary is this Friday, December 24, 2010. Mark has made reservations at the Conrad Hilton here in Hong Kong for Christmas Eve. He has the next two weeks off before resuming travels that take him to South Korea and Macau (a trip I get to accompany him on!).
I don't feel the need to recap this year as all of you know the wonderfully, crazy, scary ride it has been! Thank you for all the love, support, and care you have showered on us. We are so thankful for our family and friends, no matter where in the world you live. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may 2011 bring you all that your heart desires.