Hubert Burda Media

All of My Favourite Things

Diamond earrings, a big bird and a getaway in Japan are some of society's well-loved treats this time of the year. What's yours? By Suhana Ab

Favourite...
FESTIVE APERITIF
“In my family, the spirit of Christmas

All of My Favourite Things

Diamond earrings, a big bird and a getaway in Japan are some of society's well-loved treats this time of the year. What's yours? By Suhana Ab

Favourite...

FESTIVE APERITIF

“In my family, the spirit of Christmas centres around what we term as the three holy beverages: Krug Rose, Glühwein (mulled wine) and eggnog. The homemade recipes for our version of the Glühwein and eggnog date back to my father's school days in Germany — and they pack a punch. I'm particularly fond of the Glühwein, even as a teen, and was always given the non-alcoholic version. I would watch my dad use vintage Pauillac wine in his preparation and would innocently request, year after year, to have what the adults had. I finally did at 14.”

— ALICIA THIAN

Favourite...
TABLE CENTREPIECE
“The Big Bird — a big roasted turkey basted with garlic butter and concentrated stock stuffed with Hong Kong-style glutinous rice, chestnuts and dried sausage. This is when East meets West in one big bird and everyone's happy. I've always liked turkey for as long as I remember. The best place to find this? My home.”
— MARTIN GEH

Favourite...
HOLIDAY FEAST
“My Christmas dinner is always a wide spread of my family's favorite dishes.
Mains
My husband loves beef so I make a juicy roast.
The kids love turkey, so I usually roast one.
Sides
Garlic mashed potatoes
Pumpkin ravioli
Mixed berry and candied walnut salad
Butternut pumpkin soup
Green beans sautéed with shallots
Desserts
Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie
Chocolate cake
Berry tart
Apple tarte tartin
If we have friends over, which we usually do, they will add to the smorgasbord and we have ourselves a big potluck buffet.”
— KELLY SIA

Favourite...
CHRISTMAS MEMORY
“Once, my husband and I visited a dear friend in Majorca, Spain, when we heard that he had a stroke and was unable to walk and had difficulty speaking and hearing. We had dinner together and promised that we will visit him the following year during Christmas. We kept the promise and had a lovely Yuletide dinner with him and his family. It was a long process to bring him to the restaurant and back, but it was worth the time as it was such a memorable Christmas for us. I'm sure it was for him too. Not long after that, we learnt that he had passed away. It was significant for us as we fulfilled our promise and we will always remember the good time we had.”
— PEGGY JEFFS

Favourite...
HOLIDAY TUNE
“It will have to be Nat King Cole's version of ‘The Christmas Song'. Back when I was about 10 years old, my family would go on Christmas vacations and I remember being a kid in complete wonder of the different sights and sounds of the Christmas cheer in a foreign country. I remember cold nights around the fireplace with my family and having so much fun. Songs such as ‘The Christmas Song' would play every once in awhile and every time I hear it, it brings me back to those days.”
— NATHAN HARTONO

Favourite...
FAMILY TRADITION
“When my family and I travel, it is customary that we each buy an ornament for the Christmas tree. Today we have some 27 years worth of ornaments. All of them come from different parts of the world and each has a story. It is most heartwarming to decorate our tree with them. My favourites are the ones inherited from my parents as they link me to my childhood and a special sled with five figurines on them with the names of my wife and three children imprinted on it.”
— EDUARDO RAMOS-GOMEZ

Favourite...
SANTA MOMENT
“As a child, I always got up early on Christmas morning to open the presents that ‘Santa Claus' had left at the foot of my bed. When I was 12, I caught my dad sneaking into my bedroom in the early morning and I realised that Santa was actually him! Funnily, I wasn't disappointed.”
— CELESTE BASAPA

Favourite...
FAMILY RITUAL
“Each year, my extended family comes together to celebrate Christmas Eve and we always sing ‘Silent Night' together in the darkness, with each of us holding candles. It's my favorite custom because it makes me feel very close to my family members as we commemorate the birth of our Saviour.”
— TIFFANY PRIMALIA

Favourite...
REASON TO PARTY
“It's a riot when our three girls are back together (since for the last few years, two of them were away in the US for studies). We look like a scene from a Woody Allen comedy but with an Asian twist. Wherever we are, we usually end up talking a lot, eating too much and laughing our heads off. That is my idea of a perfect Christmas.”
— KATHRYN YAP

Favourite...
GIFT FROM A LOVED ONE
“My favourite Christmas gift is a pair of rose-cut diamond earrings from my husband. It is of special significance because it's the first present I received from him after we got married. Even though he does this each year, it felt different as it was presented to me in our matrimonial home and the spirit of Christmas seemed very real at that moment.”
— OW SHIN YANN

Favourite...
FESTIVE CONVERSATION STARTER
“Always start with ‘Merry Christmas', continue with the formal pleasantries and throw in interesting questions such as ‘What was the best Christmas present you have received when you were a kid?'”
— BRYAN TAN

Favourite...
GIFTING SITE
“I love to go online-shopping at sites such as Net-A-Porter. It is accessible 24 hours a day and you can get a varied collection of things there ranging from clothing, lifestyle items and now, even beauty products. It's a perfect stop for those strapped for time during the festive season.”
— CARMEN OW

Favourite...
SNOW MOMENT
“Two years ago my family and I went to Solden, Austria. It was a special trip because we travelled together with my kids and parents-in-law. Although they didn't ski, we were able to spend Christmas together and also celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday. My daughter's first ski down the mountain also happened during this trip.
— KAREN SOH

Favourite...
VACATION
“A quiet Christmas in Yagyu-no-sho, Japan. We spent the time doing nothing but eat beautifully prepared food in tranquil surroundings, soak in our private hot spring outdoors in the snow and take walks to visit the charming Japanese villages.”
— GEORGIA LEE

Favourite...
HOLIDAY MOVIE
Every year, I look forward to Christmas and start playing and watching Christmas songs and movies by end October. My favourite has to be the movie Babes in Toyland. It's a very happy mix of Christmas singing and drama.”
— KAREN ONG-TAN

Favourite...
GIFT TO GIFT
“I normally attempt to buy something that could be enjoyed even after the festive season. Otherwise I'd go for something that might be interesting to the recipient. Christmas is the time of the year where we can celebrate by having a bit of fun when it comes to gifts. One of my favourite items I bought for a friend last year was a jar of chocolate flakes from my favourite chocolate shop in London, topped with a cute little Santa hat. Who doesn't love a cup of hot
chocolate during winter?”
— LAM TZE TZE