How My Chinese Family Celebrates Christmas Over The Years

Come December, many of us around the world celebrate Christmas, or at the very least acknowledge this festive occasion one way or another. This includes my Chinese-Malaysian family for as long as I can remember.

No one in my immediate Asian family goes to church or follows the faith Christianity. We’ve never put up a Christmas tree at home. Never went caroling. But when I was a kid growing up in Australia, my parents wrapped presents for me and my brother in the lead up to Christmas day. They did pretty much the same when we later lived in Malaysia and Singapore – among other things too around this time of the year.

December. A time to unwind.

December. A time to unwind Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax.

Not all of us commemorate the history behind Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ but still get into the spirit of this season. Different cultures around the world have different ways of celebrating or spending it, or even similar ways of celebrating.

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Why We Travel

Travel. It’s about being on the move.

When we were young, maybe we were forced to travel, travel for a better life and a better education. Growing up, I moved quite a bit: Melbourne to Malaysia to Singapore and back to Melbourne. My parents wanted to work in Asia, and so little me was dragged along with them.

Spot the extra potted plant. Travel and we'll see the most quirky things | Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra.

Spot the extra potted plant. Travel and we’ll see the most quirky things | Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra.

As we grow older and get stuck into making a living, travel becomes a choice. A choice that we dream of. A choice that we work and save up for.

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Travel Solo Or Join A Tour Group?

Last Saturday afternoon, I was wandering around Federation Square. All of a sudden, about thirty people swarmed around me. I looked around and realised they were being herded by a tour guide in a bright green T-shirt.

“So, this is Federation Square,” announced the guide. “It was voted as one of the ugliest buildings in the world in 2012. An eyesore.”

Melbourne's so-called monumental eyesore, Federation Square | Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument.

Melbourne’s so-called monumental eyesore, Federation Square | Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument.

I chuckled. So did the tour group. I lingered behind them. The guy in green gave a casual historical spiel about the dull-coloured, so-called unsightly Melbourne icon.

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How To Travel Safe

We experience the unknown when we travel. Wandering unfamiliar streets. Seeing faces we don’t recognise. Sampling food we don’t get at home. Usually we come back with thrilling adventures to share.

Wandering the timeless streets of Melbourne, sometimes it's hard to find an info booth | Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life.

Wandering the timeless streets of Melbourne, sometimes it’s hard to find an info booth | Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life.

But sometimes some of us come back with the odd horror story of getting pick-pocketed, getting lost and probably everyone’s worst nightmare, their passport stolen.

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Why Do We Go To The Beach When It’s Hot?

When the sun shines brightly on hot summer days in Melbourne, many of us make a beeline for the beach.

A lot of us say we go to the beach to cool off on these days.

Giving myself a high five at the beach | Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Giving myself a high five at the beach | Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie. Photo: Mabel Kwong

This has always baffled me. Numerous times I’ve went down to St Kilda beach on 30-degree days decked out in a loose-fitting white T-shirt and shorts. After ten minutes or so of strolling on the sand under the cloudless sky, beads of sweat scramble to form on my forehead and back.

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