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tbt: I’ll have a Blue Christmas

Hey there! I’ve noticed a lot of new followers lately, so welcome! I’m glad you’re here. I started blogging in 2012, to document my journey of living abroad. Despite occasional attempts to focus on specific subject matters over the years, I always come back to the personal blog format: I write about myself and the stuff I think is worth sharing. I thought it would be fun to reflect on this crazy journey by re-posting some of my favorite posts over the years. Check back every Thursday for #tbt (throw back Thursdays) posts! I hope you enjoy.

Originally Posted: December 18, 2013

Last year, I had the privilege of designing and manufacturing new Christmas decorations for the Four Seasons Hotel & Residence, here in Hong Kong.  Last night, while picking up a few Christmas gifts at IFC mall, I decided to swing by the adjacent Four Seasons for a drink (and free dim sum!) at Blue Bar.  Truth be told, I mainly wanted to see if they were using my decorations again this year, and to my surprise they were!

I’ll never forget the night the project kicked off.  A colleague of mine had invited me to the Four Seasons for what I thought I would be a friendly night of drinks.  But as the night progressed, and the drinks and food continued to flow freely, at one point the hotel manager (yes… turns out the uber chic lady setting next to me was in fact the property manager…) turned to me and said she couldn’t wait another minute!  She wanted to know what my ideas were for the hotel’s Christmas decor theme.  This was a total surprise to me.  Also a total surprise was the slow realization that the mini beef slider, I had just shoved into my mouth, was in fact a foie gras slider.  [Side note: I don’t eat foie gras, and I try to not eat at restaurants that serve it, as I think it’s just about the cruelest thing society has created a market for today.]  As I tried to spit out the poisoned duck liver, I found all eyes on me waiting for my response.  As I swallowed…  I said something like, “WOW, that was not beef and WOW, did you just ask me what my plans were for your hotel, as in THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL??”  Long story short, the project actually turned out to be a success… and a lot fun!

I can’t recall the exact number of themes needed to decorate each of the public spaces throughout the hotel, including the residence tower, but I think it was 8 or 863, or something like.  There were a lot!  All of which were fun to develop, but the Blue Bar theme was hands down my favorite to work on. What you don’t see from the above story board used in the final presentation, is I had about three times the amount of ornaments developed for the Blue Bar tree, than any other theme.  Blue isn’t a color I normally gravitate toward for Christmas, but I LOVE how this tree turned out.

Blue Bar Nite

Sorry the pictures are so dark.

It is a bar.  And, well… bars are dark!

The color inspiration came from this gorgeous stacked glass block column in the middle of the bar.


Along with the Blue Bar, another favorite was the more traditional tree for the main lobby.  Here’s a look at the presentation we set up months before the install.


From that, came this…


The manager of the hotel was adamant about three things. 1) no plastic balls anywhere,  2) every tree and wreath throughout the property had to be real, and 3) the foie gras was staying on the menu.  Other than that last one, we got along just fine.  Although helping source a live 35 foot Christmas tree in China may have been a little challenging, the end results were spectacular.  Not only did everything look spectacular, the smell of fresh pine was intoxicating.

Merry Christmas from Hong Kong!

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