Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Holidays (A Thanksgiving and Holiday Decor Post Rolled into One)

 This year for Thanksgiving we organized a group potluck with a bunch of friends. 

I made a roast chicken.  Here it is, just as it is being popped into the oven:
Here are the finished birds - the chicken:
and the turkey: 
Our friends who were making the turkey, stuffing and gravy came over earlier in the day to cook with us.   While the food was cooking, and the skies opened to dump buckets of cold rain, we sat around and played a board game that Michael and I had never played before, called The Settlers of Catan.  The huge number of pieces and interlocking honeycomb board and multiple series of cards were intimidating at first, but it's actually really easy and really fun.  Much like pioneers settling a new land, your objective as a player of Catan is to earn and deploy as many resources as possible, to help you build as many settlements and roads as possible.  That's it.  But because of the way the board is set up, no one can get all the resources, and because of the die, luck plays a role.  You have to barter with your fellow players, and beware the person who has built up a monopoly on brick or hay!  Having grown up on the very traditional diet of Scrabble, Monopoly and Life, I am loving these innovative and creative board games that I've been learning as of late.
Then, before we knew it, it was time for the party and our guests were arriving.
We decorated the room with autumnal flowers and gold votives and candles:
 Here was my plate:Dessert was a cheesecake and a delicious pumpkin pie:

 Here was the aftermath of dinner:

One of our friends brought Michael a sherry cask whiskey, which he happily opened (while our other friend's dog looked on with curiosity):
 Then the poker chips and cards came out... and the night went on way, way too late.  Oops!
Also, now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it's that time of year again! The Christmas trees are going up all around town, even though the skies are blue and the air is balmy and the palm trees are a-swaying.  We are in the final stretch where 2016 is racing to an end.  Christmas music is blasting, and all the stores and malls have put up their holiday decor.
 Landmark has outdone themselves again with this incredibly lavish, fully moving, song and dance and light-show filled "display."
 Everywhere you go, you see tinsel and ornaments, including between escalators (a first for me).
 Hong Kong is not at all politically correct when it comes to Christmas decor - it is all about the Christmas tree, and nothing else. 
My office building has also jumped into the holiday fray, per usual.

 Finally, the tree in the lobby of my work building gets weirder and brighter every year...
Happy holidays all!

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