It’s A Lot Like Christmas

By Jane Mountain | December 25, 2013

Happy merry joy love and peace, everyone. We’ll be posting this a few days late, so we hope you all had a lovely Christmas day with family or you just managed to take a little time for yourself.

Weird For The Holidays

Even though the halls are all decked out in Christmas cheer here, it’s a little hard to get into the season when we’re so far from family and friends. It can be tough to feel seasonal without sipping on soy eggnog or shopping for Tofurkey and brussels sprouts. We didn’t even buy gifts this year, since we don’t want to blow our budget or load up our panniers with any new weight.

We did make a donation to Heart To Heart Shanghai though, a charity that arranges heart surgery for children in need in Shanghai.

I know, it all sounds kind of sad, doesn’t it?

And it is, a little. I wish we were sitting around the table at my sister’s house right now, with my parents and my three little nieces, getting to enjoy their excitement at the most wonderful time of the year. It would be great to be experiencing the crisp coldness of Southern Alberta with my brother and his family. Sitting on the deck of a sailboat in the Caribbean with my other brother and his clan wouldn’t be so bad either.

Rudolph raised our Christmas spirits today.

Rudolph raised our Christmas spirits today.

Stephen’s parents have made it through the great Eastern Christmas storm to Pennsylvania to be with his sister and her family. It’s yet another place we wish we could be, gathered around their two Christmas trees, discovering what Santa left for our nieces. We’d also love to be filling up on home cooked family specialties like New Year’s buns (yes, on Christmas) and pierogies.

But, as long as Stephen and I are together, we feel like we’re home. So no matter what kind of strange Christmas we celebrate, in some strange land, we can find happiness and joy, even if it’s not the traditional kind.

Yoga, It’s What’s For Christmas

We spent most of the day hanging around Teresa’s apartment, which she has so kindly loaned us for a few days. We are catching up on work and recuperating from our marathon train journey. I think we breathed a few too many of our fellow passengers’ germs, and we both have new colds to contend with. Crap.

hong kong buildings

View from the rooftop, Hong Kong.

To sweat it out a little, we stopped by The Yoga Room, where Stephen will be teaching tomorrow, and joined a hot flow class taught by Nora. Neither of us is a big fan of hot flow, but this class was great. Nora has a similar yoga background to both Stephen and I, and she managed to teach us a lot within the constraints of the class style. There was also a lot of sweat, which can only be good for cleaning out our virus-filled systems.

For Christmas dinner, I was hoping to have vegetarian dim sum. But, while researching places to eat, I came across a San Francisco-style diner called Veggie SF. Since they were planning a special Christmas set menu, we decided to go there.

The restaurant is on an upper floor of an office building, but once you’re inside, the atmosphere is clever and kitsch in the best way possible. The place is wall-to-wall 50s, including retro suitcases, handbags, pictures, TVs, and dad-joke signs that say hilarious things like:

Practice safe lunch. Use condiments!

The meal was darn tasty, and the best approximation of good ol’ American diner burger and fries that we’ve come across since we left good ol’ America.

After dinner, we headed home and snuggled up in our (borrowed) bed, while visions of sugar plums (whatever those are) danced in our heads.  

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