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Greetings, Ye Seasoners:

Welcome to my lazy (it’s a given) holiday post.

I’m writing to assure you that Hong Kong is no exception in the decorate-frenzy of modern holiday times. Even better, Hong Kong, unfettered by the West’s angst-ridden parsing out of holiday equality simply lets it rip.

Christmas is left to do what it does best: be pretty.

As a colleague explained to me, “No… we don’t celebrate Christmas, we just like the parties and decorations!”

Throwing off even a pretense of religious association allows for a level of unabashed dressing-up far easier to grasp than God in a wafer. In exchange, one gets all of the delightful certainties in an Asian city outsized for the holidays: reindeer pulling sleigh’s across iconic towers, cheerful greetings in garish lights, imported evergreens in lobbies, carols pumping through the polished veins of malls.

Then there are the local touches. Here is one, the display at Kornhill Plaza, the mall attached to my home.

Christmas Carnival at Grand Plaza

Christmas Carnival at Kornhill Plaza

Note the bold primary colors and prancing expressionless ponies. This merry-go round does not go round. It is symbolic of the joy of childhood without the loud, messy children to spoil it.

Hello, pretty pony

Hello, pretty pony

And this motionless, soundless piece of plastic is sponsored by mints.

Have a joyful time with Mentos

Joyful time with Mentos

And comes with the requisite Hong Kong rule, placed tastefully in plain view.

In case you were tempted

In case you were tempted

Why shouldn’t Christmas be a simple, happy time? There is already enough pressure in Hong Kong: six day work weeks, high rents, no social net, loud buses, rapid construction keeping the city in a perpetual real-time state, not to mention the academic pre-school pressure untold of in the halls of Harvard.

So to one and to all I say, Joyful Time with Mentos!