Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Traditions {Luphia Loves}

We are hoping across the pond to visit with Tina of Luphia Loves in England for this next installment of Holiday Traditions.

As a note of introduction, Tina was born in China, in an industrial city not far from Beijing, and lived there until she was 13. She then moved to Saudi Arabia where her mum & step-dad lived at the time, although Tina was only there for 3 months before her family moved to the UK.

What were your family's holiday traditions when you were younger? What was a typical Christmas Eve/Christmas Day for your family?

Since I only came to UK when I was 13, my real Christmas started quite late. But for me, it was also so exciting. I remember waking up at 6 in the morning on my first Christmas day and counted every second to my mum and step-father got up at 7 so I could open my presents!

A family tradition we have is that we always get each other something small like a box of chocolates or some socks in our cats' name! The tags read something like, "To Tina, Happy Christmas, from Timmy (miao, miao...)" Of course, we normally get some treats for the cats too.

Timmy on the camel stool we bough in Riyadh, one of Timmy's favorites places to watch us unwrapping our presents!

Have your family traditions changed since you have gotten older?

Since moving away for university, my parents have been away on holiday every year to somewhere sunny & hot (no, I'm not jealous at all...) So I have spent the last two Christmases with my boyfriend's family, which was a wonderful chance to see what a big family's Christmas is like! I have never seen so many presents piled under one tree; it was really cosy & warm.

Have you implemented your own traditions into your life since you've gotten older?

When I was at home, decorating and wrapping presents wasn't really a big deal, my mum would put up the Christmas tree and decorate it with the same decorations each year and wrap the presents with paper bought from high street shops. Since I got older, my creative side definitely got a lot stronger, so I tried to wrap my presents uniquely and with a different theme each year. This year it's going to be an all white snowflakes theme. So I have bought some really pretty extra wide white ribbon with glittering snowflakes on it.

What foods do you feel are a must have during the season?

Mince pies, I get so many through Dec... I think this is quite a British thing; a mince pie is a sweet pastry filled with mincemeat- a preserve which contains apple, dried fruit, such as raisins and sultanas, spices and no meat!

BBC Food

What does a traditional Christmas meal include for you?

Roasted parsnips and brussel sprouts! I know some people hate them, but, for me, it wouldn't be Christmas without these little stinky cabbages.

What is your Christmas decorating style?

I am definitely a white-themed girl. White with icy blues & violets. I have always wanted a white tree too. Like MadeByGirl's tree- this would be my dream tree!


White lights or colored lights?

Definitely white lights with a traditional tree, but maybe coloured lights with a white tree.

What is one holiday-related event that you must do during the holiday season?

Going to the Christmas market! When I was at home, we used to drive to a Christmas market looking for some uniquely made items while drinking mulled wine. Since moving to Bath, we have a market right in the city centre, so it is even more convenient to get some mulled wine!

Do you have a favorite holiday memory?

It has to be my first Christmas, while I was wrapping my presents, our cat Monty came to join us by having fun of his own with some wrapping paper! It was so cute!

If you celebrate Boxing Day, what does the day entail for you?

Me and my boyfriend normally go for a meal in the evening. Last year, we went to Cafe Rouge, which was a beautiful French restaurant in retro style.

My picture at Cafe Rouge

Complete this sentence- "It wouldn't be Christmas for me without..."

Going to all the shops and hearing some of the greatest Christmas songs, it all gets me in a festive mood, especially with all the festive decorations too! Starbucks' Christmas cups are one of my favorites! I also have to have one of the golden reindeer by Lindt too.


Tina, thank you so much for sharing this with us! I loved hearing what makes your holiday season complete. Your wrapping paper theme sounds adorable this year, and Starbucks' red cups completely put me in the holiday spirit as well! Also, I am glad to know that someone else is a crazy about their pet's as I am...last year, our two dogs, Itchy and Moose, "gave" E a birthday present. And Timmy looks so sweet perched on this favorite stool.

For those of you reading, if you haven't already, check out Kimberlee's interview about her Australian Christmas traditions.

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