Last Christmas was my first Christmas away from my family! For a lot of people I think it would be a hard decision to make, to leave your family and spend Christmas overseas, but to me it was a no brainer! I chose to spend Christmas overseas because my best friend has just moved to Hong Kong and I didn’t want him to be alone.
I arrived in Hong Kong on Christmas eve to my friend Nick holding a Starbucks frappe, ready for a big hug. We caught a train and then a taxi back to his apartment and oh my goodness, what a view! Nick lives on the 42nd floor of his building in Kowloon, Hong Kong…
Once we got settled in and I sorted out my bags he said he had a surprise for me… he got us tickets to go to The Nutcracker Ballet! This was an absolute dream come true to go to The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve!
After the ballet we went into town to a bar that Nick’s boyfriend works at where there was a Christmas party happening. Christmas is not widely celebrated in Hong Kong so everything is still open and happening as normal. We got to go to the roof top of this place and there was free food and drinks! We had such a great time and ended up staying until midnight and all wished each other Merry Christmas.
Christmas morning was magical. Nick had made a Christmas tree out of hanging baubles on his window in the shape of a tree (because it’s not Christmas without a Christmas tree!) and he had laid out some presents in a stocking for me. SO cute! We spent the morning in bed opening presents and watching Miranda (The Christmas special of course) and eating lots and lots of chocolate. Oh and Skyping our families back in New Zealand. Classic Christmas morning really.
At about lunch time we headed to Nick’s friend’s house on the other side of Hong Kong. He had organised an entire Christmas feast including pancakes and bacon! (A classic Nixon Christmas meal)
We all helped out in the kitchen and took turns making cool patterned pancakes. We sat down with Nick’s friend’s family and had a beautiful Christmas feast.
Nick had one more surprise up his sleeve… so it’s well known amongst my friends and family that I like to watch “Love Actually” on Christmas eve/ Christmas day. I had just accepted this year that that wasn’t going to happen because of course I was hundreds of miles away on the other side of the world… but Nick then pulled out the DVD and we all sat around the living room and watched it! BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER.
To end the day Nick, his boyfriend Christian, his friend, and I went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant of all places. It was lovely and we really enjoyed each other’s company. We even got some free champagne from the manager because Christian knew him! How amazing!
It was really interesting to celebrate Christmas in Asia, in a country and culture that doesn’t really celebrate it. There were Christmas decorations everywhere because Hong Kong does have a large amount of westerners living in it, but all the same, a fun knew experience.
I didn’t miss my family back home too much because Nick made so much of an effort to make it feel like home. It was a really nice feeling to know that someone knew me better than I thought they did. Sometimes your family isn’t just who you share blood with.