It’s a weird thing for me. I am very much a photo taker of just about everything. My view of it is my kids will thank me when they’re older and they have all of these memories to look back on. I mean, maybe they won’t. It’s possible. Really though, they are from a small town in Illinois living in a major city.
They will have met people they would have never come into contact with in that small town. They will have learned things about culture, politics, environment, customs they would have never been exposed to outside the US.
This year, for Christmas (and lately really), I’ve not been taking the photos I used to take. I guess it could be because we more stuck in our flat than going anywhere. This pandemic has really messed with things for us (and everyone).
This Christmas, we were of course stuck in Hong Kong. They have a mandatory quarantine upon returning to Hong Kong. Before, it could be done at home and was for 14 days. Now, the quarantine has to be done in a hotel at your own cost. Before the holiday, it was 14 days in a hotel and 7 days at home. Now, it is 21 days in a hotel. They are talking about making it 28 days.
Who can afford that?!?
So, like everyone else, we were stuck here.
Monkey spent most of her time drawing over the holiday time. Monster was equally involved in artistic pursuits. Bub played video games with his friends. He tried so hard to get his friends out, but most of the parents weren’t allowing their kids out during this time.
We made Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve in our ridiculously small oven. B brought over his oven, so we were able to cook more at one time. That is one thing I miss about the US. We had a massive oven. My mom has two ovens. Here, we have what amounts to a toaster oven on the counter top. We found a smoked turkey in Sha Tin as well as a ham. B made cornbread, and I made stuffing out of that. We had mashed potatoes. No cranberries though. I couldn’t find those anywhere.
B did make his grandmother’s pear salad. It was not easy to find canned pears in Hong Kong. The closest I could get were these pear cups. They weren’t cheap. It was over $50 HKD for each pack of pear cups.
While B was whipping the cream, he accidentally made buttermilk and butter. He wasn’t paying attention to the whipping. Suddenly, it separated. That was mildly amusing.
Dinner was good. There was so much food. I think we will be eating leftovers for a long time. It is a shame though. Back home, not all of my family got together. My brother and his boyfriend stayed in Chicago. My other brother and his wife stayed in Kentucky.
My youngest sister did go to my parents’ with her baby girl. My middle sister already lives with my mom. My second brother, his wife, and their son live with my parents as well. Fruitbat lives in the next town over. I think my youngest brother wasn’t able to get up there. I think this is the first year most of them have not made it to my parents’ house. It’s normal for the Kentucky group to get stuck because of my brother’s job. Everyone else though is usually there.
This pandemic is the worst.
So, for us, it was just me, the kids, B, and our helper together. It was really nice despite not having family. I will say that B has been a huge help in the last month. It is a lot less stressful to have him around. I’m not sure where that even gets us at this point. It definitely doesn’t undo all of the damage he did, but it was so nice to have some peace in our home instead of the constant tension.
I am hoping things are better next year, so that we are not stuck in Hong Kong again. I love living here, but I wanted nothing more than to go home and see family. I have two new nieces that were born in 2020. I won’t get to meet them until they are over a year old most likely.