Expat Parent December 2021

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the really useful magazine expat-parent.com

December 2021

Too cool for school

Try these winter camps

Hike it, Baby

Boxing Day trails with kids

Yew Chung International School

Leading the way in early years education

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CON T E N T S — 1 2/21


COVER STORY Yew Chung International School of Hong Kong


Hello from the hot desk


Meet this month’s team


What’s on in December



Happenings in and out of the classroom



Maxim Minin of Fitness in Motion


Your monthly local news roundup

Plus the advantages of investing at an early age

Uniquely Hong Kong gifts


Cool kids camps for the holidays


Where to be seen this Christmas


Festive walks to burn the Christmas calories


Letao Wang reveals your fate for December


Conny Wong discusses Asian representation


Clo Parker prepares for the big day

12 6


10 28 36

“SANTA! Santa, here?! I know him! I know him!” - Buddy the Elf

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editor’s Letter It’s Christmas! And Hong Kong has put on quite a show this year. From snowfall in front of Disney’s Castle of Magical Dreams to Island Shangri-la’s Nutcracker Staycation complete with a visit from Santa, festive wonders are everywhere. There are plenty of opportunities to indulge. Check out our guide to festive happenings across the city on page 6. I’ve got my eye on Conspiracy Chocolate’s Truffle Making Workshop and it’s simply not Christmas without Hong Kong Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. Keep kids busy over the holidays with our pick of the best winter camps around on page 28. Festive options include the opportunity for kids to make their own holiday movie trailer and a Christmas storytelling workshop. For shopping inspiration, head to page 20 for some uniquely Hong Kong gifts and shed seasonal pounds with our selection of Boxing Day hikes on page 32. For when it’s time to head back to school, our cover story features

who’s in charge? Editorial editorial@hongkongliving.com Editor-in-chief Nicole Slater

Editor Gemma Shaw

Features Editor Cheyelene Fontanilla

Senior Writer Charmaine Ng

Design jason@hongkongliving.com Graphic Designer Jason Lau

Partnerships talk@hongkongliving.com

the incredible early years education programme at Yew Chung International School. The school offers a tried and tested approach to transitioning children as young as six months into an immersive bilingual, play-based environment. Happy holidays and see you in 2022!

Director of Content Hilda Chan

Partnership Manager Elaine Li

Event Manager Pranali Gupta

Partnership Manager Janessa Chan C




Tom Hilditch tom@hongkongliving.com





Editor’s picks


Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong



the really useful magazine expat-parent.com

Mt. Christmas Resort at Pacific Place

Finger’s crossed you’ve bagged a ticket to meet Santa (virtually) at Pacific Place. But if you haven’t, don’t worry, plenty of Christmas events are on offer including Chrsitmas storytelling and a performance by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. pacificplace.com.hk

Bonne Mère

Hong Kong brand Bonne Mère recently launched their Spring 2022 collection, ‘Little Vintage’, which features French vintage-inspired clothing and homewares, including gorgeous night dresses, quilts and embellished angel wings and eye mask sets - perfect for little Christmas angels. bonnemere.com

December 2021


Too cool for school

Try these winter camps

Expat Parent is published by Hong Hike it, Baby Kong Living Ltd. This magazine Boxing Day trails with kids is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, Yew Chung advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and International School any liability to any person, whether Leading the way in early years education a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Expat Parent cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. 1a EP Cover.indd 1

Photo Yew Chung Internation School


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contributors Thank you to our contributors Santa Claus Also known as Father Christmas, Santa is said to bring gifts on Christmas Eve of toys and candy to well-behaved children across the world. For those of you who have behaved well this year, head to bed early on December 24 and hopefully, when you wake, there will be some surprises waiting for you! Check where Santa is in the world via santatracker.google.com

Dr. Kyle Wong As the director of Kaplan’s financial markets division in Hong Kong, Kyle has over 14 years experience in course design and delivery of bespoke financial training programs to top financial institutions. This month he shares the advantages of investing at an early age.

Clo Parker Growing up in a bilingual family between France and Scotland, Clo moved to Hong Kong five years ago and enjoys every minute of her life here. A vegan mum who loves dogs, weightlifting, Muay Thai and old school hip-hop, she constantly looks for ways to use up all her daughter’s energy in the vain hope that the very active Mimi will go to bed at night.









Conny Wong

Maxim Minin

Hong Kong-based children’s book author and mum-of-two Conny recently released two new books just in time for Christmas. On page 36, she shares her inspiration behind I Love You, Little Boba and Mama’s Bedtime Tales and the Wonders of Asia.

Maxim Minin is owner and founder of Fitness in Motion. He is a certified weight loss and behavior change specialist and a NASM certified personal trainer. On page 15 Maxim shares advice on staying fit over the holidays. fitnessinmotionhk.com

Want to write for Expat Parent? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com 4 | EXPAT PARENT

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what’s on


A Disney Christmas 2021 Celebrate Christmas with Santa Goofy’s Magical Snowfall show in front of the Castle of Magical Dreams. hongkongdisneyland.com



Head to Stanley Plaza for this festive open-air market with stalls, games and a Santa Meet & Greet. 12-8pm. Stanley Plaza, Stanley. linkhk.com

Enjoy free-flow drinks, mince pies and shop for stocking fillers with all proceeds going to charity. $400. 7-9.30pm. Rula Live, 58-62 D’Aguilar Street, Central. Angels-for-children.org

Stanley Plaza Wild West Adventure Christmas Market 2021

Angels for Children Christmas Cocktail Party

DEC 2-5

Swire Properties’ White Christmas Street Fair Taikoo Place will host a charity street fair complete with Santa’s Whimsical Factory and elves. 12-8pm, Dec 2-3; 1-7pm, Dec 4-5. Tong Chong Street and 1/F Office Lobby, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay.

DEC 4-5

Christmas House Market

Lawn and Sky Lounge. 11am-6pm. Free. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway. thehousecollective.com


Malvern’s Magical Christmas Malvern Preschool will host a magical Christmas adventure featuring Christmas poetry reading, crafts and toys. 9.30am to 4pm. G/F and 1/F Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun. malvernpreschool.hk

DEC 3-12

Jack and the Beanstalk The Hong Kong Players celebrate 60 years with an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk. . From $295.Times vary. Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hkplayers.com

The Upper House welcomes the festive season with the return of their popular market at The


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what’s on DEC 7

Truffle Making Workshop for Kids Join the Conspiracy Chocolate team for a truffle making session. Kids can learn about cacao and chocolate before making their own truffles. $300. 4.30– 5.30pm. Chocolate Jungle, 1 Leung I Fong, Sai Ying Pun. conspiracychocolate.com

DEC 10

The Hive Kennedy Town Christmas Market Mingle and shop for Christmas gifts at The Hive Kennedy Town Christmas Market. Free. 11am-7pm. thehivekennedytown.com.hk


Lantau 50 A 16, 27 or 54km run across some of Lantau’s toughest trails including Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak. $420. 6.30am. Man Tung Road Park, Tung Chung, Lantau. ctionasiaevents.com

DEC 11

Wonder Woman Run


Hong Kong Living Christmas Charity Lunch Kick off the festive season with a charity lunch in support of Box of Hope. Enjoy a three-course meal, free-flow wine and a festive quiz. $480. 11.45am-1.30pm or 2-3.45pm. Como Italian Restaurant & Bar, 55 Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho. hongkongliving.com/shop


Run like the superhero you are in Hong Kong’s first Wonder Woman Run Series. In support of Make-A-Wish Hong Kong. From $398. 7am. Hong Kong Science Park, Sha Tin. wonderwomanrunhk. championchiphkc.com

DEC 11-26

The Nutcracker The Hong Kong Ballet presents this classic Christmas production in which The Nutcracker comes to life. From $180. 7.309pm. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. hkballet.com

The Hive Sheung Wan Christmas Market Head to The Hive Sheung Wan to shop exclusive festive gifts from the local community. Free. 11am-7pm. 33-35 Hillier St, Sheung Wan. thehivesheungwan.com.hk


Prestige Christmas Fair The popular Prestige Christmas Fair hosts a variety of stalls selling jewellery, homewares, clothing and babywear. 10am-8pm. Grand Ballroom, Conrad Hotel, Pacific Place, Admiralty. prestigefairs.hk

DEC 4 & 5

Glam and Glitters Christmas Shopping Fair Niche and artisanal brands are on offer at this popular Christmas fair. 10am-7pm. Hong Kong Football Club, 3 Sports Road, Happy Valley. shoppinghongkong.net

DEC 12

New World Harbour Race Racers brave the waters from Wan Chai’s


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what’s on Golden Bauhinia Square Public Pier to Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of Stars. Free. 8-11am. hkharbourrace.com

DEC 18-22

Nordic Christmas Fair at Ocean Park Get your seasonal Scandi fix at Ocean Park’s Nordic Christmas Fair. Entry is $20. 2pm-9pm. 180 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen. oceanpark.com.hk

DEC 23

The Snowman & The Bear Experience this classic Christmas tale to the tune of live music by the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. From $150. 4.30pm & 7.30pm. Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium, 1 Yuen Wo Road, Sha Tin. ccohk.com

DEC 23-24

Hong Kong Philharmonic: Christmas Fantasia The Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus and The Hong Kong Children’s Choir perform Christmas classics. From $220. Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. hkphil.org

Welcome 2022 in style at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s extravagant Masquerade dinner featuring a six-piece band, buffet dinner, free-flow champagne and $2,560. 7pm1am. Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hyatt.com Editor’s note: due to the current Covid pandemic, events are being cancelled or postponed at short notice. Please check with the organisers nearer the time to avoid disappointment.

DEC 25

Christmas Day Eat, drink and be merry!

DEC 26

Boxing Day Walk off Christmas calories with one of our Boxing Day hikes on page 32.

DEC 31

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Grand Masquerade Countdown party


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Get gifting this Christmas In collaboration with Prestige and Lifestyle Fair After a two year hiatus, the highly anticipated Prestige and Lifestyle Fair, held at the Conrad Hong Kong, is returning on December 9. Since its establishment over 20 years ago, the Prestige and Lifestyle Fair has made its name as the city’s largest gift and lifestyle fair, featuring thousands of unique gifts you won’t find in department stores, shopping malls or markets. Some examples of what’s on offer this year include Freis Spirit with its vibrant bohemian party dresses; Jacqueline Shiu with her pure cashmere scarves; and Bamboo and Papaya’s trendy pieces for women and kids – and these are just three of the more than 140 pop up shops on the day. Bring your friends along for a fun and hasslefree shopping experience and check off your Christmas gift list. After shopping, stop by the Conrad Garden Cafe or the Lobby Lounge for lunch or afternoon tea, where shoppers are being offered a 20 percent discount.

What you’ll find • Women and men’s fashion accessories • Eclectic jewellery from around the world • Stylish homewares and home decor • Personal, travel and home services • Gourmet food, confectionery and wines • Beauty and healthcare products • Children toys and clothing and many more

The Prestige and Lifestyle Fair will take place on Thursday, December 9, 10am-8pm at the Conrad Hong Kong Grand Ballroom. Admission is free and open to the public. For a complete list of exhibitors, visit prestigefairs.hk

**The Conrad fully adheres to HKSAR Government social distancing regulations. Guests need to wear a face mask at all times; have to scan the Leave Home Safe QR Code or provide their info details; and there will be compulsory body temperature checks at the entrance.


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Bonne Mère new collection

Back with a boom

Boutique designer brand, Bonne Mère, recently launched its Spring 2022 collection, ‘Little Vintage’, featuring French vintage-inspired clothing and homewares. Founded by Hong Kong-based Australian designer Nicole Mair, the brand focuses on timeless design that can be handed down to future little Bonne Mère people, encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. Items are handmade in India using organic cotton and are free of harmful chemicals so suitable for delicate children’s skin. The new collection which features gorgeous night dresses, quilts and an embellished angel wings and eye mask set is currently available for preorder. bonnemere.com

Central Harbourfront gets makeover Last month, the open tender for the Central Harbourfront site was awarded to Henderson Land Development, who paid a whopping $50.8 billion. The project states that it plans to replace the General Post Office and temporary access to the Star Ferry pier with four low-rise office buildings. Other construction plans include an architecturally iconic building, a public viewing deck extending from IFC mall with two multipurpose buildings attached and renovations to the outlying ferry piers. A green roof-level platform coined the “urban forest”, will provide jogging routes and an outdoor green space for public use. The project is set to be completed by 2032.

Inspiring Girls in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disneyland’s firework show is set to return in 2022 after a four-year hiatus. The fireworks were put on hold in 2018 due to castle renovation and have remained suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions. The multimedia show at the Castle of Magical Dreams will include theatrical lighting, lasers, choreographed water fountains and flames. The Castle of Magical Dreams, which is inspired by Disney princesses, opened to the public last November as part of the park’s 15th anniversary celebrations. The announcement of the return of the fireworks was made just a couple of weeks after Hong Kong Disneyland raised peak day ticket prices by 10 percent. hongkongdisneyland.com

Global charity, Inspiring Girls, launched in Hong Kong last month with the aim of supporting the city’s half million young women to realise their aspirations. Currently operating in 20 countries across the world, including the UK, Australia, Brazil and Russia, the organisation works to connect girls aged six to 18 with female role models from a variety of vocational backgrounds. Since launching, the charity has formed partnerships with five Hong Kong schools including French International School, St. Teresa Secondary School and Kowloon True Light Middle School. They are also currently seeking female role model volunteers based in the APAC region. To get involved visit inspiring-girls.com


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school news

Investing Should Start Young Dr. Kyle Wong tells us about the advantages of investing at an early age

ESF Pitch Day winners announced Last month, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the English Schools Foundation (ESF) invited students to present their proposed sustainability initiatives to a panel of expert judges. These proposals were the culmination of eight months of hard work, following a series of talks, workshops and team-building activities run by ESF and TNC. Timed song playlists to reduce water consumption in the shower, sustainable whiteboard markers and using automation for reducing air conditioner wastage were just some of the bright ideas put forward at the Nature Works Pitch Day. The judges decided that

teams from ESF South Island School (SIS), ISF Academy and Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC) had the strongest pitches which means that they will be able to start putting their ideas into practice. Vice Consul, British Consulate General David Foster who was on the judging panel commented: “It was really inspiring to see just how passionate all the students are about sustainability and how that has translated into these projects all of which were worthy of the seed funding,”. The three winning teams will receive $10,000 in funding so they can carry out their projects. natureworkshk.esf.edu.hk

Down on the farm The Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG), have together launched the ESG Pioneers ‘Farm-to-Community’ Project. This project puts into practice what it means to be sustainable as it teaches primary and secondary school students about environmental impacts by introducing them to organic farming and volunteering in the community. Last month, 250 primary and secondary school students from 15 schools attended a series of experiential workshops as part of the project. They had first hand experience of organic farming with a visit to the HKFYG organic farm and Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre. In the coming months, more students will be invited to get involved in similar environmental and community events.

Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is the tenthwealthiest person in the world. His interest in investing was inspired by the book, One Thousand Ways to Make $1000, when he was seven. Ray Dalio, who started stock trading in college, is now a billionaire investor and has served as co-chief investment officer in Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. As a market practitioner for more than 30 years, I would say investing skills are as essential as language skills, hard skills and communication skills. Investment is a lifelong learning and markets go through cycles that can last many years. The sooner you start to learn, observe and understand how the market works, the sooner you will master the skills and step to the success.

As a director of the financial markets division at Kaplan, Dr. Kyle Wong is an experienced trainer of CFA. He is an expert in investment tools and financial analysis. Find out more: youtube.com/c/kfmhk


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school photos Hong Kong International School

Upper Primary Adventure Day where students gather to build community and school spirit through various activities on the Tai Tam field.

Mighty Oaks Nursery & Kindergarten

Mighty Oaks students show gratitude towards the unsung heroes around Kennedy Town during Our Community theme.


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School Photos Happy Diwali from WASHK

Pupils celebrated this wonderful day by decorating the campus with colourful flowers, Bollywood dancing, and designing their own Diwali lanterns.

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me & my big idea


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me & my big idea

Fitness In Motion Almost a year since founding his first fitness studio, we meet Maxim Minin

What’s the big idea? We are a fitness and martial arts studio in Tung Chung catering to all ages and levels of fitness. We are open seven days a week from 6am until 10pm. Classes range from playgroups, boxing, dance and martial arts for children to pilates, yoga, Muay Thai and conditioning for adults. I want to offer the best possible service to our whole community at affordable prices so that whole families can exercise together. What’s your relationship with martial arts? During my time in the army, I suffered from PTSD. I found that practising Tai Chi helped me to overcome many challenges associated with my trauma. I went on to study other martial arts including Filipino and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Along with physical fitness, practising martial arts helps to build character, learn discipline and enhance communication and I believe that all ages should practice some form of martial arts.

What ethos do you live by? I believe in doing good and making people better. People have the ability to achieve much more than they think they can, both in life and in fitness. How do you help clients to lose weight? I offer personal consultations. We’ll spend time identifying the real obstacles preventing them from losing weight. We’ll then work together on a plan for them which takes into account their work, family and financial commitments. From many years helping clients with weight issues, I’ve learned that the real problem is often not what they think. How can we encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle? I believe we should lead by example. Encouraging parents to exercise helps them set a positive example for their children. My boys are two and seven years old and when they come to the studio, they want

to do exactly what they see me do. My younger son is in the playgroup and the older practises boxing and Jiu Jitsu. Do you have any tips for staying in shape over Christmas? It’s simple, self control. The holiday period involves lots of social gatherings and there is usually a lot of food involved. I always emphasise mindset to my clients, and having self control. If you party and eat too much one day, you must learn how to balance that out the following day.

Maxim Minin is owner and founder of Fitness in Motion. He is a certified weight loss and behavior change specialist and a NASM certified personal trainer. fitnessinmotionhk.com


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cover story

Yew Chung International School Gemma Shaw discovers a unique play-based approach at Yew Chung’s leading bilingual preschool Established over eight decades ago, Yew Chung International School (YCIS) offers a through-train education from kindergarten to secondary. As part of a more comprehensive network with sister campuses in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Qingdao, and Silicon Valley, YCIS provides a unique blend of East and West. Students are immersed in the different cultures while acquiring a high proficiency in both languages. Early childhood education is offered to children aged six months to four years through three distinct programmes – Infant and Toddler Learning Programme (ITLP), Pre-nursery and Kindergarten Threes and Fours.

Play-based approach At the heart of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme is a childcentred, play-based approach through

which children are treated as active and competent learners. ECE teachers actively provide educational opportunities for children to explore, investigate, and seek answers to relevant questions. This approach empowers young children to be creative and critical thinkers. Students are encouraged to experiment with different character roles and gain empathy by exploring others’ perspectives through imaginary play.

Emergent curriculum In line with a play-based approach, YCIS delivers an emergent curriculum to young learners. This begins with an openness to the children’s interests. Teachers observe, reflect, and respond to the interests of the children. Each classroom is a unique group of learners with their own interests, passions, and curiosities. The emergent curriculum allows children to independently choose activities to progress with their

learning. “Teachers go beyond the obvious to observe the underlying meaning behind students’ play. Then, before responding, the teachers will reflect on what they have seen as a teaching team and engage in a reflective discussion on how they can extend the learning playing out within their classrooms,” says Rachel Blois, an educator at YCIS.

Primary school transition The emergent curriculum is underpinned by a thorough individual planning process, where teachers monitor the development of each child against the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning goals. If through these observations, it is evident that a child needs further opportunity or support, teachers then create individual responses to ensure that each child is developing holistically from year to year. As a through-train school, YCIS ECE works closely with the Primary section, taking


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cover story the pressure off both children and parents with an intentional and supportive Primary section transition, starting early in the fours programme.

Multilingual environment Students enjoy an immersive multilingual English/Cantonese/Mandarin learning environment from the very start. Each ECE classroom is run by a Western, and a Chinese teacher with responsibilities shared equally between the Co-Teachers. Children are supported in their mother tongue, with all Chinese Co-Teachers proficient in Cantonese and Mandarin. The Kindergarten also has specialist Mandarin teachers who further support the multilingual learning environment. While the Primary and Secondary sections continue to recognise and value the role of a child’s mother tongue in learning, the two languages of instruction are English and Mandarin. The school welcomes students from all backgrounds, with particular attention given to children who do not have the language skills of the school to ensure they do not feel left out while they acquire language confidence.

Focus on values YCIS’s success is, in part, credited to the school remaining true to its core over the past 89 years. The ECE curriculum is centred around 12 founding YCIS values which focus on the essence of solid relationships and teamwork, children as capable learners and an openness from the teachers that they are also able to learn from their students’ creativity and belief that anything is possible.

Tseung Kwan O (TKO) campus In 2019, YCIS expanded with the opening of


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cover story




a new Early Childhood Education campus in Tseung Kwan O (TKO). Located in the beautiful grounds of Savannah, the campus spans over 20,000 square feet with lots of natural light and provides a fun and spacious environment for children to run, explore and learn. Dedicated spaces cater to ITLP, Pre-nursery, and Kindergarten students with highlights including a shadow cave for napping, a reading garden, an open physical activity field, a role-play area, a music room, a library area, and a creative studio.

Flexibility for families The early years programme offers excellent flexibility and provides a framework to help young children adjust to a school routine. Infants and toddlers can attend morning or afternoon sessions; Pre-nursery students have the option of full or half days, and Kindergarten students attend full days. In response to parents’ feedback, YCIS recently announced a new half-day programme in TKO campus for three-yearolds which offers ECE families an even higher level of flexibility.

With well-regarded teaching philosophies delivered in a bilingual environment and close to a century of proven results, it’s no wonder that YCIS ECE has such an excellent reputation, both in Hong Kong and globally. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit ycis-hk.com






Register online for the YCIS Early Childhood Education information session, which will take place on December 8 from 2-3pm (English session) and 3.30-4.30pm (Chinese session).

School report Established date: 1932 Number of students: 2,500+ Class size: 20-25 Curriculum: International / IGCSE/ IBDP Fees 2021/2022: From $78,067 (ECE) to $232,650 (Year 12-13) Debenture (Refundable): From $100,000(ECE) to $470,000 (Secondary) Address: Kowloon Tong (8 campuses): Tseung Kwan O (1 ECE campus) Admissions Tel: +852 2338 7106 Admissions Email: admissions@ycef.com


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Gift Guide

Locally sourced gifts and experiences for the whole family to enjoy


For those who love a festive tipple, LAIBA Beverages has a collection of award-winning cocktails to enjoy at home. Each cocktail is prepared by a world-class mixologist and served in some of

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the most prestigious hotels around the world and a trusted partner of Cathay Pacific. The ultimate gift set includes eight unique cocktail flavours, packaged in a beautiful gift box with a personalised handwritten note. With these classic cocktails and original creations, you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family.

LAIBA Beverages is offering a 15 percent off discount code until January 1st to all Hong Kong Living readers by using the discount code HKL15. hk.shop.laibabeverages.com

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Gift Guide

MOMOMI Give the gift of comfort this Christmas with Momomi’s Soft Touch Tatami Mat. Both baby and child-friendly, the mat is soft to touch and perfect for walking or resting on. As the International Innovative Design Award 2020, the mat is designed to be very easy to clean, non-pilling, does not shed hair and quick to dry. And best of all, it looks stylish and harmoniously blends with most floors and furniture in your home.

With a range of sizes and 11 tasteful colours, the Soft Touch Tatami Mat is not only a beautiful piece of decoration in your living space, but also for family to sit and lie on it to spend quality time together – giving you a sense of cosiness and relaxation that is perfect for Christmas. If you would like to give one to a friend or family member this season, the brand also offers gift vouchers so they can choose their ideal colour and size.

EMMA WALLACE Relax this holiday season with Emma Wallace’s new Christmas gift sets. Choose from different combinations from the best-selling Emma Silk collection, made up of luxury loungewear and sleepwear with matching silk accessories and twinning Baby Em baby kimono sets. Three iconic prints will be featured: the rich green Kiku print, inspired by the Japanese chrysanthemum; the Papaver print, using the wild poppy as a muse; and the Cassia print, stunning with its pretty pink hues.

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Each mat is also ethically produced. This means Momomi provides sustainable income for its female artisans and empowers them to further develop and promote their skills. The mat is coloured using only eco-friendly and non-toxic dyes that are free from AZO, making it better for the future of our planet, child-safe and pet-friendly. momomijapan.com

Each item from the festive collection is designed by British born, Hong Kong-based designer Emma Wallace. Drawing on her travels in Asia, Wallace’s designs blend together Western and Asian heritage, at the same time taking inspiration from the 1920s and 1970s. Fabric, colour and pattern play are also some of Wallace’s key techniques when creating her collections. Celebrities who love the brand supermodel Coco Rocha and Kimberly Wyatt. The Emma Wallace store is located at No. 2 Po Hing Fong Street, Sheung Wan. emma-wallace.com For those who love to dream in decadence, the gift sets bring together pyjamas, slips, kimono gowns, eye masks and scrunches. Shopping for a mum who loves to match with their mini-me? Then the baby and adult robe set is the selfie-worthy gift their Instagram feed has been waiting for. There are no chicer gifts for babies, mums and anyone who longs to slumber in style.

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Gift Guide

of old shoes for over 10 years. Working with Hong Kong’s Crossroads Foundation, it helps make shoes available to those who can’t afford them.

ESCAPADE SPORTS Offering a wide variety of quality sports items, there is something for the whole family at Escapade sports. From marathon equipment to yoga gear, the fitness retailer is the perfect one-stop shop for those looking to get a kick-start on their New Year’s resolutions.

With an online platform and stores across Hong Kong Island, shoppers can conveniently access their chosen gifts, even on Christmas Eve. Better yet, all items are easily exchangeable for wrong sizes or colours. escapade.com.hk

From 2XU, Asics, Brooks, Garmin and Gilbert to Hammer Nutrition, Hoka One One and Vibram

Fivefingers, Escapade provides products from the world’s leading suppliers. These are just some of the names you’ll find in store. As a large corporation, the retailer also makes sure to do its part for the environment. Not only does it work with its suppliers to reduce packaging by reusing cardboard boxes and reducing the use of plastic, but it has also encouraged the donation

SodaMagic Give your drinks an upgrade with the help of SodaMagic. It offers sparkling water machines and CO2 refills, so you can make carbonated water, personalised to your taste, in the comfort of your home. The ‘Auto’ machine is perfect for individuals who want to make their own sparkling water and flavored carbonated beverages in seconds. Just push the button one time and the machine will start and stop automatically. If you’re new to the world of carbonating your own drinks, the Starter Kit includes one SodaMagic Sparkling Water Machine, one CO2 Cylinder (for up to 52 liters and one 1 Liter Plastic Carbonating Bottle. This Christmas, impress your guests and make your own carbonated drinks the way you like – with high, medium or low carbonation. There’s also no need to carry, store or dispose of heavy bottles anymore, making it an eco-friendly option. When your CO2 cylinder is empty, SodaMagic offers CO2 refills.

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And of course, all of its machines are modern and trendy and fit the look and style of all kitchens. sodamagic.hk

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Gift Guide


cuts, Basque Country cold cuts, cheese aged in Toulouse, premium fruit juices from Alain Milliat and chilled meat and poultry flown in fresh from France. For those who appreciate the finer things in life, Plantin Kaviari is offering a range of gift hampers for the festive season. They are currently offering three unique sets with a 10 percent discount or you can custom make your own hamper with chocolate by Valrhona, signature Kristal Caviar by Kaviari and even fresh black and white truffle and truffle delicacies by Plantin.

Specialising in fine dining since 2009, Plantin Kaviari has been providing premium gourmet products to top hotels and restaurants in the city. Joining hands with a range of French producers, the online retailer delivers home Caviar from Kaviari, fresh truffles and truffle delicacies from Plantin, Foie Gras from Les Landes, Valrhona chocolates, Polmard beef

If you’re looking to spruce up your Christmas dinner, Plantin Kaviari’s fresh selection of goose, capon, turkey, foie gras, beef tenderloin, veal roti, lamb leg can be delivered by Christmas Eve if you order before 1pm on December 13. Order online at: plantinkaviari.hk Contact the team by WhatsApp: 9451 6412

DAVISAGE Shower your loved ones with some self care items this holiday. Founded on the principles of specialised knowledge and science, DAVISAGE focuses on producing high quality anti-aging products for the face and hands. Through their luxuriously crafted products, DAVISAGE was hand-picked to become an Official Partner for the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, Royal Edition 2021 Showcase. Their most popular products include the Face X’cercise Visager tool, the Handie Bottle and the Wrinkle Smoothers. These have all won acclaimed international awards in the beauty and wellbeing categories. The DVS Visager, a patented design, is a unique

patches address the physical element of deep lines and fine wrinkles, providing instantly noticeable results overnight.

DVS Face X’cercise VISAGER $1,380

all-in-one exercise and massage tool that uses state of the art Japanese technology to stimulate cellular renewal, boost collagen regeneration and improve skin elasticity. It goes hand in hand with the DAVISAGE Face X’cercise program, a series of stylishly made video tutorials, that focuses on the neck and face muscles. The DVS Wrinkle Smoothers are designed specifically for the face. These anti-wrinkle tape

Lastly, The Handie Bottle has dual tubes–one with hand sanitizer and another with luxurious anti-aging hand cream made in France with the finest black orchid oil, which soothes and reduces fine lines. Use code HKLiving at checkout for a 15% discount and free Wrinkle Smoothers set. davisage.com

DVS Handie Bottle $280 DVS Wrinkle Smoothers $880

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Gift Guide


and even handmade Gingerbread cookies from Queensland Australia. Highlights from this year’s collection include the store’s Signature Mini Decorated Fresh Christmas Tree, which are available in 30cm, 40cm and 50cm sizes. They come either decorated, or if you prefer to do so yourself, Moda Flora will provide all the materials and supplies, from fairy lights and flashing LED lights to personalised wooden ornaments.

If you wish to go down the faux tree route, Moda Flora also offers the Premium Quality Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree. Sizing five, six and seven feet in height, the trees are remarkably realistic with options of green and flocked trees.

Walking through Queen’s Road Sheung Wan, Moda Flora’s shop at 235 Queen’s Road Central (Sheung Wan) is sure to catch your eye. Decked and filled to the brim with Christmas goodies, Moda Flora Santa’s Workshop stocks over 300 Christmas-related essentials, such as Christmas trees, Christmas tree decorations, personalised santa sacks, stockings, ornaments, toys, hampers

Lastly, children will love the Personalised Santa Sack and Stockings. Moda Flora understands that Christmas is especially important for kids and how to make this exciting and joyful time meaningful and magical. hkchristmas.com

Marks & Spencer

If you can’t decide what delicious snack to give this year, M&S has pre-made 10 hampers ranging in price and themes to give your loved ones a treat this Christmas. Shop in store or via M&S Hong Kong App: https://bit.ly/HKLivingDec21 now.

No Christmas Day is complete without some M&S goodies. Their 2021 limited Christmas food and gift collections have something for everyone, from cookie gift boxes, Christmas desserts and snacks including its first-ever light-up chocolate box and light-up gins in a variety of festive flavours including Clementine, Spiced Sugar Plum and a Madagascan Vanilla Light Up Snow Globe Gin Liqueur. Even M&S’s beloved characters have donned

their festive frocks for the occasion. Percy Pig has been made into a Percy The Pig Hot Chocolate Bomb, Percy Musical Tins and Percy & Penny Vanilla Biscuits.

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Gift Guide

DREAM CRUISES If you desire to escape Hong Kong this Christmas, Genting Dream will be transformed into a winter wonderland with gingerbread town and festive decorations. For two or three nights, you and your loved ones can indulge in a Scandinavian feast and check out the goodies at the Christmas Market onboard.

A wide variety of events await you on your cruise holiday. For the little ones, the Little Dreamers Academy at Sea will introduce the legend of St. Lucia in Swedish folklore and the mysterious story of the Icelandic Yule Lads. Meanwhile, entertain yourself with the Very Christmas, a Christmas spectacular with all the elements you love in a yuletide show – with a unique twist. And if you like arts and crafts, the Nordic Art Lab has prepared a range of activities including the Norway Northern Lights Scratch Art and Nordic Christmas Ornament Making workshops. If that’s not enough, Genting Dream has prepared a feast onboard. Dig in on roast turkey, slipper lobster, gammon ham and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, with ginger-spiced chocolate cake, Christmas cookies, Scandinavian caramel florentine torte and more as desserts. All of this is completely free! Set sail and get ready for a white Nordic Christmas adventure this season!


your own candle experience of blending your personal scent from its curated fragrance collection and hand pour your very own candle. This month, it is running a special Christmas Smells class – a sensual journey to explore your imaginations about the long awaited festival. BeCandle’s staff will guide you through the creative process and help you find inspiration from your precious Christmas stories to

create your own unique scent. Fill your home with Christmas scents this season with BeCandle’s festive collection. The Sai Kung-based homegrown brand has introduced two new 500g holiday scents for you to share with your loved ones. Tangerine Cinnamon Sweet is an enticing and spicy sensation of cinnamon whilst Pine Needle is a woody, ambery and zingy smell of the old pine tree. BeCandle also hosts workshops for you to have

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Founded in 2012, BeCandle’s creations are all handmade at their Sai Kung Factory using a blend of vegetal and soy wax, fine fragrances and essential oils from Europe, then housed in hand-blown glass vessels. @BeCandle_SaiKung www.becandle.com.hk BeCandle Shop: 18B Sai Kung Tai Street, Sai Kung BeCandle Lab: 8 Wang Street, Sai Kung T: +852 8481 7684

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Gift Guide

M FLORIST Founded in 2017, homegrown brand M Florist specialises in online flower delivery and creating unique displays for high end fashion brands and luxury hotel groups, weddings and corporate events.

This holiday season, it has released a new bouquet theme for you and your loved ones. Named the Peppermint Parade, these Christmas flowers are strikingly red with a hint of pink, featuring vibrant, festive hues to get you into the holiday spirit. Christmas wreaths are also available. https://mflorist.hk/


As a bonus, for every watch sold, 2°EAST’s partner Trees for the Future plants 30 trees to help end hunger, poverty and deforestation. This is a watch that doesn’t just look and feel good – but does good too.

Give the gift of kindness this Christmas. 2°EAST is a Hong Kong-based, female-founded company that makes quality, everyday watches for men, women and children.

Hong Kong Living readers can enjoy 15 percent off with code HK15 between now and February 2022. Free shipping is available on all orders within Hong Kong and Singapore. 2degreeseast.com

The brand takes pride in creating watches that don’t cost the earth, using only high quality ecofriendly materials, ethical practices and a direct and transparent process from the manufacturer to the consumer. With 2°EAST, it’s cool to be kind again. Its products are incredibly comfortable with easily interchangeable strap options that include printed NATOs in a variety of colourful patterns (think tropical fruits, tigers and triangles), soft vegetable tanned leather and fine stainless steel or rose gold mesh.

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Winter camps Keep the kids entertained this Christmas with these fun and festive classes

YWCA Centre of Learning and Life Enhancement The YWCA International Kids Club encourages learning through interactive classes structured around games, storytelling and hands-on crafting. This Christmas, a plethora of winter camps are open to children aged two and up. Festive highlights include, Kinder Kicks Soccer Christmas Camp, Xmas Nature Play Storytelling and Cookie House Making. There are plenty of sports on offer and, if your kids are the artsy type, the CLLE also offers art, STEM, music, dancing, nature play, drama and more. clle.ywca.org.hk

Activekids Activekids will keep your children entertained with a range of activity camps running from


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education December 20 until January 8. Children aged from three to 17 years can take part in six camps including science, chess, RoboCode and Stormy Chefs. For something a little more festive, sign up for the ArtCrafters Camp and Mission Runway Camp, where children can create festive art projects, or a party outfit. activekidshk.com

Babel Film Workshop Have a budding filmmaker at home? The Babel Film Workshop runs from December 20 until January 7 and features a range of holiday-themed filmmaking experiences. Students aged 8-15 will learn to create their own holiday-themed film using voice acting and sound effects for animation. The camp includes re-editing a holiday movie trailer, a Mad Libs filmmaking challenge and creating a New Year’s resolution video. Family members can also participate and make a movie projector out of recycled gift boxes and wrapping paper. babel.com.hk

ESF Sports & Language ESF Winter Wonderland classes are taught by experienced educators and suitable for children aged 15 months to 16 years old. From December 20-31, students will be immersed in an environment where they will build confidence in communicating in English through different languages, arts or STEM activities. Options include Lower Kindergarten English, Spanish through Dance and Secondary Debate as well as drama, arts, coding, football, and tennis. Alternatively, kids can join one of ESF’s winter sports camps to train up their sports skills. Camps take place across ESF schools and education centres and are open to non-ESF students. esf.org.hk

Hong Kong Academy Hong Kong Academy in Sai Kung has teamed up with some of the city’s top activity providers to offer a varied winter camp programme which will run from December 13-17. Children aged three to 18 years can learn valuable skills from Asia Pacific Soccer Schools, Babel Film, Gecko Yoga, HKEVA volleyball, ISTA Performing Arts Academy, Just Climb, Mindful Wing Chun, Proactive Sports, Skydance, Top Flight basketball and Twiga pottery. Non HKA students are welcome. hkacademy.edu.hk


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out on the town

Out and about Gemma Shaw on what to see and where to be seen over the holidays Splash out A cracker of a staycation Island Shangri-la has to be one of the most festive places around this Christmas. Indulge the whole family in true holiday glamour with a stay at the Island Shangri-La Nutcracker Suite. The suite will be decked-out with Nutcracker-themed decorations, an awe-inspiring Christmas tree, personalised stockings for children, and guests will even receive a visit from Santa Claus himself! Throughout December a two-night Nutcracker Suite Staycation starts at $88,000 for two adults and two children which includes a Christmasthemed family in-suite dinner, a festive hamper, breakfast at cafe TOO, and round-trip Rolls-

Royce transfers. For those looking for adventure, the Christmas Kids’ Camp Staycation starts at $8,400 for two adults and one child for a two-night luxurious stay with a nature-focused outdoor adventure programme for children aged five to 12 years. Children will be entertained as they merrily explore Hong Kong’s natural wonders and see their home city from a whole new perspective. christmasISL.shangri-la.com

Holiday Edition. Hosted by Hong Kongbased charity RUN, participants will embark on a short hike in Tai Tam, while answering questions about refugees along the way. The challenge which runs from 11 December to 8 January is ideal for families or groups of friends

Back to nature RUN for refugees Learn about refugees living in Hong Kong as you and your team complete a hike in nature as part of The Great Refugee Challenge:


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out on the town Meanwhile on December 20, social enterprise Cookie Smiles will host a series of gingerbread decorating workshops at BETWEEN Tai Kwun. Sessions will take place on December 20 at 11am and 5pm with all ingredients and tools provided. Book tickets at Eventbrite or head to cookiesmiles.com.hk for more information.

Win a golden ticket Island Shangri-La Christmas Market From now until December 26, celebrate the festive season at the Island ShangriLa Christmas Market. Shop for gifts at the European-inspired market stalls, sip on hot chocolate or mulled wine and enjoy festive delights such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, and toffee apples. Set in the lobby around the grand Christmas Tree, the Christmas market will feature limited-edition items including a beautiful Nutcracker snow globe ($388, with proceeds going to charity), gingerbread of the Hong Kong skyline ($798), Shangri-La Christmas crackers ($300) and four beautifully packaged chocolate bars ($148 each), some of which will be hiding a ‘golden ticket’ – those lucky enough to find a ticket

will win an afternoon tea for two or delectable cakes from Island Shangri-La. christmasisl.shangri-la.com

looking for a fun and educational activity to complete together over the holiday season. Registration fees for the event are "give as you can'' with money raised going towards RUN’s Pathways Programme which prepares vulnerable refugees for a new life of safety and dignity beyond Hong Kong. runhk.org

Festively sweet Decorate a gingerbread man Get creative with candy this festive season at a number of workshops for adults and kids taking place across the city. Until the end of December, playful baking studio Harry’s Kitchen is getting into the festive spirit with confectionary classes especially for Christmas at K11 MUSEA. Children over three and the ‘young at heart’ are invited to make their own yuletide cupcakes, cookies and even enchanting Santa Claus villages of gingerbread and Belgium chocolate. For information on dates and prices visit harryskitchenhk.com.


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big day out

Boxing Day hikes Winter walks to blow away the Christmas cobwebs

Dragon’s Back

Dragon’s Back This iconic Southside hike Best f o offers spectacular views a late r of the Shek O Mansions, lunch beautiful beaches and the glistening South China Sea. The trail gets its unique and powerful name from the hilltop’s undulations. It is one of the most popular hikes on the island and bear in mind that it will be busy over the holidays. The finishing point is at Tai Long Wan, better known as Big Wave Bay. Make sure you keep an eye out for the turning off the ridge and down to the bay and don’t forget to bring your swimsuit if you fancy a festive dip!

pits. There is also a shaded children’s play area away from the sand. Sampans run regularly from Pak Sha Wan pier and cost $10/head. Dogs are also permitted on board, although not on the beach.

Peak Circle Walk There’s no better place to be on a crisp morning than atop The Peak looking out across Hong Kong’s

Best f or city views

Trio Beach Trio Beach is the perfect Best fo place to enjoy some a picn r ic Christmas leftovers. A favourite with locals, Trio is accessed by sampan or a three kilometre, gently undulating walk through bushland (partly paved) from Hong Kong Yacht Club. Once on the beach, enjoy the gently lapping waters, a protected and life-guarded swimming area, and BBQ

Trio Beach


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big day out stunning cityscape. Not only is Peak Circle Walk one of the easiest hikes in Hong Kong, it is also one of the most popular due to its accessibility for all levels of hikers including little tykes. Since it’s the holidays, kick back and continue the celebrations at one of the many restaurants around Peak Galleria.

Lamma Island Family Trail


f The Lamma Island Family strolle or rs Trail connects Lamma’s two ferry piers, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. We recommend starting at Sok Kwu Wan as the trail is quieter and ferries are more frequent from Yung Shue Wan. What’s different about this particular trail is that it is fully pathed with no steep inclines or stairs, making it perfect for strollers. Once you arrive at either ferry pier, tuck into a seafood feast before heading back to Central.

Parkview to Jardine’s Lookout

The Peak Circle Walk

Best f


If you’re looking for an easy south- r hike with incredible views, siders this one’s for you. The hike begins at the intersection of Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. Follow the sign that points towards Jardine’s Lookout and you’ll reach the top in under 30 minutes. From up high, enjoy a bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour and the surrounding

skyscrapers. If you’re up for a challenge, continue the hike to Mount Butler, which involves more stairs and will take you all the way to Quarry Bay.

Tai Tam Family Walk The Tai Tam Family Walk stretches just over a kilometer and a

Best f o natura r views l

half skirting around the Tai Tam Reservoir. It’s an easy walk with kids in tow and offers sweeping natural views. The trail begins at Tai Tam Reservoir Road, near Parkview Mansions. Around the midway point, the path intersects Tai Tam Reservoir Road, an ideal place to enjoy a picnic of Christmas leftovers. The walk ends at Tai Tam Reservoir Road from where you can head down to Stanley for a hearty lunch.

Tai Tam Road Dam


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Written in the stars Letao Wang, The Kingdom Healer shares his insights on what the stars hold for you this month AQUARIUS The planetary configuration will emphasize respect for personal boundaries and those of others.Try to build relationships based on tolerance and acceptance. In doing so, you will create moremature bonds that will accompany you for the rest of your life.

TAURUS You will focus your energies on material and spiritual security, Taurus. Try to consciously work on strengthening your self-esteem and overcoming old beliefs to regain abundance in your life.Certainty and confidence grow in your heart, not in the accumulation of material goods.

LEO Planetary energies propose breaking through stagnation and self-imposed limitations, Leo. Seek freedom in whatever area of your life you feel trapped. Sign up for an academic course and other expansion strategies. Have fun with your dearest friends and don’t forget to be grateful for all the blessings life has given you.

SCORPIO Trust your dreams, Scorpio, and don’t lose sight of the goal despite the obstacles. Your enthusiasm and recklessness will give you the motivation you need to accomplish what you set out to do. Don’t let impulsivity make you take shortcuts that put your goals at stake.

PISCES Your intense connection with the source of inner wisdom can lead to unexpected revelations. Therefore, pay attention to the signs that appear during this time. If you have vivid dreams, write down all their messages in a notebook. Later you will find meaning in them that will change your life.

GEMINI As long as you practice self-control and caution, it will be a very profitable time for your work affairs. So, plan for lucrative investments and ventures. Be guided by your common sense, Gemini, rather than by hunches based on superstitions.

VIRGO If you usually behave based on your emotions, now you will feel more cautious when making decisions. You will prefer practical solutions and will feel apt to participate in intellectual matters. Take advantage of this period to start a work project, as it may become a lasting way of earning a living.

SAGITTARIUS It will be a propitious time to engage in philosophical discussions, Sagittarius. Your wisdom and knowledge are vast enough to teach others. Consider giving classes in a university course. You’ll be so enthusiastic about it that you may want to make it your new profession.


ARIES Connecting with your feelings will help you to engage with the essence of your being. The planetary configuration will encourage you to link with your individuality and to affirm yourself personally. Remember that vulnerability is not a weakness, Aries.

CANCER Work demands will be hard to cope with. Your hypersensitivity will cause your emotions to fluctuate and will put more obstacles in your way. However, staying at home and not facing the real world may bring unfavorable consequences. Find the strength to get out of your bed and get your work done, Cancer.

LIBRA You may experience some difficulty expressing your feelings, Libra. Your partner or romantic interest may sense that you reject them, so try to explain what’s happening. Avoid beginning romantic relationships out of interest in material goods or to achieve a better social status.

CAPRICORN You will feel a duality and contradiction concerning different areas of your life. You will start new activities and challenges with enthusiasm, but you will lack the necessary perseverance to complete them. Do not expect to have things clear about your future at this time.


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book club

Tales from Asia Children’s author Conny Wong recently released two new books. Here, she discusses Asian representation in children’s literature Dumpling to her YouTube audience? Incredible! I was honoured and humbled to have my book read by a member of the British royal family and I’m thrilled that books representing Asian culture are receiving this kind of attention. Can you share tips to get young children interested in reading? Make reading together part of your daily routine. Children love the freedom to choose their own books at the library. I try to make storytime more exciting by changing my voice for each character and making sound effects. Reading together can be an incredible bonding experience. What are your plans this Christmas? We usually spend Christmas in Sydney with our family but due to travel restrictions, this year we’ll spend it in Hong Kong. We are planning a camping trip over the holidays and of course, I love watching my kids excitedly open their presents with pure joy on Christmas morning.

Tell us about the new books. I Love You, Little Boba is a rhyming board book for babies and toddlers. The story celebrates unconditional love and highlights Asian culture through bubble tea characters. Mama’s Bedtime Tales and the Wonders of Asia is a book written for three to eight year olds which captures the joy of childhood imagination and family love through some of Asia’s most iconic sites including the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, and many more! What inspired you to write about travel during Covid? Like everyone else, we’ve been cooped up since the start of the pandemic. I decided to play a game with the kids to help maintain their sense

of adventure. I’d pretend that my bed was a magic carpet, or a helicopter, that could take us to amazing places and this was my inspiration for Mama’s Bedtime Tales and the Wonders of Asia. Is Asian culture well-represented in children’s literature? In recent years, we’ve started seeing more cultures represented in children’s books but there is still a lack of diversity overall. Growing up, I didn’t see many characters who looked like me, or who I could relate to. Children need to feel that they are seen, it is important for their selfworth and leads to a more tolerant world. How did it feel to have The Duchess of York read your debut book, I Love You, Little

Conny Wong is a Hong Kong-based children’s author. She recently released two books, I Love You, Little Boba ($248, including a cuddly plushie) and Mama’s Bedtime Tales and the Wonders of Asia ($140), available to buy at Bookazine and Eslite Bookstores, or online at minilovetales.com


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Mum about town

Mum about town This month, our cool-as-ice mum strikes a pose with Santa

Tasting ice cream

Mimi and her best friend Harry have a new favourite hike which follows the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail in Shing Mun Country Park. The trail is not too taxing and they love running around and spotting the numerous macaques that inhabit the park. Keep a hold of your snacks though, those monkeys are very greedy! It’s also time to deck the halls and so Mimi and I have a project. We headed to Prince Edward Flower Market earlier this month to get all the essentials to make a Christmas wreath. It’s busy during weekends but wonderfully Christmassy at this time of the year. Many shops sell decorations and the smell of Christmas trees and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Mimi meeting Santa

Getting a highly coveted Pacific Place Santa’s Grotto ticket is no small feat. Despite my best efforts, I was number 1,507 in the online queue and a glitch or unfortunate click of the refresh button could have ruined my chances to secure a brief encounter with Mr Claus himself (or his virtual self, these days). After over an hour of nail biting tension, I managed to get a spot. Mimi dressed up for the occasion in a handmade red Christmas dress by the talented Hong Kong mum behind the

label, Mulgee. Pacific Place always puts on quite a show for Christmas, with games and activities, and this year’s no exception. After a trip to see the man of the moment, we headed over to Kowloon Dairy for their festive holiday pop-up on Wellington Street. Running until December 23, super friendly staff dressed as elves serve up the latest Christmas flavours; Cinnamon Baked Apples, Gingerbread and Hazelnut and pumpkin spice. We’re also keen on hiking this month.


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HOUSE Sat 18 Dec 2021 11.00 - 13.00

Explore our beautiful, purpose-built campus and enjoy a view of the many unique spaces that support learning for Shrewsbury students between the ages of 3 and 11. Guests are invited to join at either 11:00 or 12:00 and will be greeted in person by Principal, Mr Ben Keeling. The Admissions Team will also be on standby to take questions and enquiries about the application process.

RSVP 2480 1500 admissions@shrewsbury.edu.hk 10 Shek Kok Road, Tseung Kwan O


2022/23 Applications Open

EARLY 11 EP Horoscopes+Marketplace.indd 37

Application Enrolment Involvement


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Season‘s Greetings from our valued suppliers


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Causeway Bay Central t: 2891 1855 t: 2851 0769

Repulse Bay t: 2395 2778

26/11/2021 PM 22.11.214:36 11:24

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