How We Celebrated Christmas 2016

Christmas this year was celebrated tropical. Unlike the past two soulful Christmases in Portugal or Germany, 2016 required no coats nor mittens. Gifts were placed on an IKEA drawer unit instead of under an ornamented tree, the turkey was devoured at our bright sunny balcony, our guests selected randomly; as we now live in Cingapore where there is close to no family, with lots of missioning around (playing tour guides by day and Christmas chefs at night).

Many times I found myself drenched in sweat, messy high bun crazy housewife-style, sighing a hundred different versions over the kitchen counter or while wrestling the purple vacuum cleaner for the tenth time thinking, “What’s the point of all this?”

“Christmas is hard work”, he said. We looked each other in the eye, sighed and took another huge sip of wine.

And just like that, Christmas was over. I bade three goodbyes the very next day; to our guests who came to visit from Mozambique, to É who left for Portugal and Germany, and heartbreakingly to my kitten, Cinga, was left in the good hands of a friend before I too, took leave to return to Malaysia for two weeks. While goodbyes are always tough for me, resettling in my ol’ home feels like a relief and a warm embrace at the same time.

Post-Christmas days, throwing my gaze to the fading celebration, despite it being hectic and summery with lots of lonely lost-in-translation moments, I managed to find a few of my favorite moments worth cherishing.

Christmas lunch

{Our guests for making Christmas merrier for our small family – to have good friends is a blessing!}

Christmas turkey
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

{This turkey for emerging as a success from our oven, paired with wicked homemade gravy and roasted brussels sprouts NYC-style}

Gardens by The Bay

{This venture to Gardens by The Bay because it was pouring cats and dogs, which made my fourth visit more varied, if not dramatic}

Bacalhau

{É’s Portuguese must-have Bacalhau à Lagareiro for Christmas eve, which came out #winning AF, if those urban words can sum it all up}

Christmas gift

{Gifts from everyone we saw and even more so to those we didn’t see this Christmas. (I still don’t know who gave us this present, so Secret Santa, please emerge!)}

 

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