December 25, 2015

I enjoy Christmas as a festival celebrating family and loved ones, and I particularly enjoy celebrating Christmas with our son Theo, who like most children, enjoy the anticipation of this special day of trees, gifts and songs. (Santa no longer plays a role for him now that he’s 10). But not being a Christian, I haven’t felt a real connection to the true reason for the Holiday. To my sister-in-law Judy, however, the Holiday has a very different meaning.

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December 24, 2015

When I’m scrolling through Facebook, among the photos that make me smile the most are those of my friend Dave and his adorable son George cheering on their favorite rugby teams, frolicking in exotic places like Italy and New Zealand, or just gobbling down ice cream together on a rare warm day in London. Dave is such a great dad, and I know it hasn’t been easy for him.

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December 23, 2015

I met Frances over 20 years ago in London when we were working on our Masters degrees in Asian art at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studied (SOAS). Her main field of interest was Chinese art and mine was Japanese, so we didn’t take many classes together – only a course in Chinese ceramics, which was highlight of my Masters program. We didn’t know each other terribly  well, but I believe we respected each other’s knowledge and work ethic. After I graduated I ended up moving West to California, and Frances moved East to Hong Kong, working as an editor for an illustrious Asian art magazine, an impressive position in a profession with sadly few employment opportunities.

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December 21, 2015

This year our winter solstice actually feels like winter here in Los Angeles. Today it was only about 60°F and at night it’s dropping to about 40°F. I’m actually getting a lot of use out of my many pairs of boots this winter, so I’m very glad I didn’t give all those away! What I gave away today did relate to the cold temperatures though.

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December 20, 2015

Every Holiday season, one of my favorite events is Priscilla and Nelson’s Holiday Open House. I have known Priscilla and Nelson for well over a decade, from my days at Pacific Asia Museum. Priscilla used to be a museum Board member, is a passionate and well-researched lover of Asian art; she is also a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Nelson worked for many years in financial management and, around about the time I met them, was serving in Washington DC as an Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force.

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December 19, 2015

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, kids didn’t have many toys. They didn’t have mountains of plastic action figures, hundreds of fluffy stuffed animals, piles of Legos and countless electronic gismos. They played with sticks and rocks and climbed trees and leapt across streams, building forts in the bushes and weaving grasses into toy dolls. The Force was strong in those younglings.

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