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Christmas Traditions From Our That Mamas And Our That Papas 

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Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama - Post Category - That PapaThat Papa
ChristmasPost Category - ChristmasChristmas

How do you celebrate Christmas?

Throughout this year, we’ve introduced you to some of the amazing men and women who are raising fine young children, while balancing a rich and fulfilling career in Hong Kong. We’ve admired their courage, commitment, convictions and (of course) their parenting. But we’re curious to know how they celebrate Christmas, so here’s another little peek into the family life of our That Mamas and our That Papas.

Read more: How To Teach Your Kids To Be Grateful This Christmas

Merry Christmas from the McDougall Family

that papa christmas traditions mcdougall family

What does your family do for Christmas every year?

Our Christmases are quite traditional — we love spending time with our family, gifting our loved ones and eating to the point of a wine and food coma! We rotate our Christmas celebrations between Hong Kong and Australia. Most of my family is in Australia and my wife’s are in Hong Kong. The cool thing about an Aussie Christmas is that it’s summertime. So we often hire a beach house, eat lots of fresh prawns, turkey and ham for lunch and then hit the beach for a swim.

What’s the one thing you associate most with Christmas?

I started a tradition a few years back when I headed to the flower market in Mong Kok and picked up an over six-foot tree for our home in Macau. I took it back on the ferry and got a lot of stares! I normally do this as a solo mission, but one year I convinced a group of friends to join me on this adventure. They all ended up with six-foot trees in their tiny Hong Kong flats the next morning!

The other thing is the BIG Christmas carols party we host at our home for our friends and their families based in Macau. We invite a local pianist to play carols, we all sing, the kids have a boogie and it gets pretty loud and merry.

Read more: That Papa: Eddie McDougall, Founder Of The Flying Winemaker

聖誕節快樂 from the Chan Family

that mama christmas traditions chan family

What are your family’s Christmas traditions?

I remember when we were kids back in Toronto, everyone in the neighbourhood would put up Christmas lights on their houses. It was like a little competition to see who would have the most amazing lights. Our family (the Wongs) would always have the most spectacular designs, by far, thanks to my dad!

Now that I have my own family, there are a few traditions I would like to follow. I plan to bake cookies with Liam on Christmas Eve so we can leave them for Santa. I would like to also make one keepsake ornament each year that we can hang on our Christmas tree. This year I plan to make handprints from salt dough.  This will allow Liam to have a collection of his own when he leaves home someday.

Where will you be spending Christmas this year?

My family are all flying in from Canada and we will take a family vacation together in Da Nang. We are all excited to eat some pho and spend quality time together. As we all live in different parts of the world, it’s always hard to get everyone to come together. Luckily we started planning this trip at the end of summer so almost everyone in the family can make it.

Read more: That Mama: Larvina Wong, Founder Of Igloo Dessert Bar

Frohe Weihnachten and क्रिसमस की बधाई from the Brugger Family

family life that papa christmas traditions brugger family

What do you most associate with Christmas?

Unfortunately, when you are in the hospitality business, Christmas often means another day at work but we always find time to simply be together as a family. For me, Christmas is still very much linked to deep winter, snow, mountains, fireplace and a chalet, as in Switzerland.

Where will you be this year for Christmas?

As the Rosewood just opened this year, we will spend Christmas at the hotel as a family. The hotel has been absolutely magnificently decorated in the true spirit of Christmas, so let’s just hope that the evening will be cold enough and we will just have to use our imagination a bit for the snowflakes.

Read more: That Papa: Marc Brugger, Managing Director Of Rosewood Hong Kong

Joyeux Noël from the Neve Family

family life neve framily christmas traditions

What is the one thing you associate most with Christmas?

A family gathering enjoying games at our cosy home, along with some good French Christmas food. Usually, we don’t go back home to France. It’s too cold and there’s too much luggage to carry with winter clothes! We normally spend time somewhere in Asia and we’re joined by our parents.

Where will you be spending Christmas this year?

This year, for the first time since the kids were born, we’re going back to France during winter. We thought it’s time to show the kids a real traditional French Christmas. We will be staying with family at Valmorel La Belle, a charming family ski station. Our cousins, uncles and aunts will join us. Christmas at Valmorel is just magical — snow, Santa Claus, good wines and a lot of sports (we all love to snowboard).

Read more: That Mama: Estelle Neve, Founder Of Anhao Wellness

Merry Christmas from the Turel Family

that mama christmas traditions turel family

What do you usually do for Christmas?

The last couple of Christmases have been spent back home in Mumbai. Although Christmas is not as big a celebration there as in Western countries, it means catching up with friends and family! I like to carry back gifts for all my nephews and nieces. I love to see their excitement as they wait for their presents. Of course, after that, it’s mayhem as they almost always like what the other one has got (but then I leave it to their mums and walk out!). Thank goodness my kids are older now!

What do your kids love most about Christmas?

When they were younger, it was the magic of Santa! I loved smuggling in their gifts and hiding them in places they couldn’t reach. I remember one time I had carefully hidden an Arsenal kit for my older boy who loves football. It was all good till my curious little child happened to find the receipt and read it! I didn’t want to upset the magic of Santa, so I said I’d bought it for him as a New Year gift. And then I had to think and go shopping again for a gift from Santa!

Read more: That Mama: Mehroo Turel, Founder Of SUMMER And [email protected]

Merry Christmas from the Gong Family

christmas traditions the gong family

What do you do for Christmas each year?

We alternate between visiting my family in NYC and my wife’s family in England every year. Both our families are traditional and we generally just exchange gifts and have big reunion meals. This year, we will be in NYC.

What does your son love most about Christmas? What are you planning to get him this year?

My 8-year-old son loves gifts (of course!) and seeing all his cousins every year. We plan to get him a ticket to a nice Broadway show as we are avoiding material things.

Read more: That Papa: Jami Gong, Founder Of TakeOut Comedy

Merry Christmas from the Hughes Family

Christmas traditions the hughes family

What is the one thing you associate most with Christmas?

Being from sunny Florida, I associate Christmas with sun-soaked beach days. And then there is also time spent with my three amazing sisters and listening to my favourite Christmas music. I feel so incredibly lucky to have my family all together in one place and getting to spend time with all our loved ones over Christmas. This is such a luxury when you’re living abroad.

What do your kids love most about Christmas? What are you planning to get them this year?

The kids just love seeing the rest of the family and spending endless hours outdoors. This year, I’ll be getting them a book on Greta Thunberg!

Read more: That Mama: Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, Founder Of Akilah Institute And Davis College

Happy Christmas from the Walker-Brooks Family

christmas traditions the walker family

What do you most associate with Christmas?

I just realised that all my Christmas photos are either of food or tinsel-draped cats (we used to have three!). We’ve also always done cat-sitting for friends. Some years, we probably had half a dozen cats for Christmas, so that’s how I always think of this time of the year! This will actually be our first Christmas without a cat, so it’s going to be very strange…

Read more: That Mama: Janet Walker, Spokesperson Of Hong Kong Dolphinwatch

All image artwork by Sassy Media Group with images provided by the respective families, image 1 courtesy of Veronica Sanchis and image 3 courtesy of Sakshi Verma Photography for Sassy Media Group.

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