Home for Christmas

There are a fair few posts about my last few weeks in Hong Kong that I need to catch up on, but I thought I’d take a moment to mention how nice it is being home for the Christmas holidays. I’m having an absolutely amazing time in Hong Kong but to be able to spend some time with friends and family after so long away has been priceless. Especially considering that I’ve never lived abroad before. Whilst procrastinating during revision for end of term exams, making plans to meet up with friends from home and present buying for my family were welcome distractions.

Image(home-made minced pies)

Anyone who was around me at that time also knows that I constantly had food on the brain. I absolutely love Christmas food (stuffing, mince pies, pigs in blankets…) and there are plenty of things that I’d been missing in Hong Kong (affordably priced cheese, proper sausages…), including having a proper kitchen to cook in. So needless to say, I’ve been stuffing my face ever since getting home. When I got back from the airport at 5am I went straight to the fridge and got out the hummous, shamelessly scooping it out of the tub with my finger. The jet lag had yet to wear of before I was drinking mulled wine, and tucking into Christmas pie, with some very old, very good, friends of mine.

Image

It’s not all about the food however, although we did have THREE TYPES OF STUFFING on Christmas day! Things didn’t really feel very Christmassy whilst I was in Hong Kong. Yes they had lights up, Christmas music playing in shops, and it was cold as far as the locals were concerned but it just didn’t feel like Christmas as I knew it. Perhaps it’s the palms trees…? At home however I very quickly felt Christmassy. It’s hard not to when you are snuggled up on the sofa, with the heating on whilst it’s freezing outside, and the tree is up with its lights on. In my family, Christmas is done fairly traditionally; on Christmas eve we go to Church for midnight mass (I’ve always thought churches look kind of magical at Christmas with all the candles and everything) and then the following morning we open our presents from Santa. Yes me and my sister still get presents from Father Christmas. Although this was the first year we didn’t bother putting out a minced pie and a glass of sherry for Santa or a carrot out for the reindeer. After exchanging presents we head off to Eastbourne to spend the rest of day with my aunts, uncles and cousins, carefully arranging it so that we arrive after my cousins have done their traditional swim in the English Channel, but just in time for lunch. The rest of the day is spent (as I’m sure most families spend it) eating far too much, drinking and watching the Christmas specials on TV. Boxing day is for eating leftovers, drinking more, and trying to walk some of it off. This year we had beautiful weather for walking the dog along the sea front.

It was yet another lovely family Christmas, appreciated even more from being away for so long. I could have gone travelling over the Christmas period but being on my own for Christmas day would’ve really sucked. I’m home for just under two more weeks and I plan to make the most of being with friends and family.

(I wrote all this whilst pigging out on one of the many tubs of quality street chocolate that have inevitably filled the house – very content)

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