On a quiet note Yip Wing-sie Music director, Hong Kong Sinfonietta 'I want to have one or two days that I don't have to work, so I can enjoy a quiet, peaceful time with the family. I will decorate the house and cook for my kids. For the past 18 years, I have had to work every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because we have to perform The Nutcracker. We usually go on vacation after Christmas. Christmas is a good time to try new things. Like the year before last, when we went to Japan and I skied for the first time in my life. I've tried it, and I'm not going to try it again!' Urban bliss Roy Wai Artist, Light Wave Memory series 'The day before Christmas, when I turn on the tap, I hope the water won't have that rusty smell like it always does in the mornings. I will check my online diary and it will be filled with Christmas greetings. While I wait for the bus to Causeway Bay, it will be a pollution free day. The bus I board will have a transparent floor and side panels. It will be empty except for myself and two girls. I will sit opposite them and we will chat and joke. The bus will not encounter heavy traffic and have a clear run to my destination in Causeway Bay. I will wait for my friends on a bench outside Sogo. We will have a meal in a nice restaurant and the menu will have all our favourite dishes. The bill will be in round figures like $100 or $200, so that we don't have to wait for the change. After the meal, I will shop in a supermarket with my girlfriend. We'll buy vegetables, meat and herbs and prepare a romantic dinner at home. We'll push the shopping cart directly into the bus and sit side by side. How I wish things could always be that way.' Sparing a thought for pets Fiona Woodhouse Deputy director of welfare services, SPCA 'I wish to have a Christmas with no animal abandonment. We usually see an increase in animal abandonment during holidays because people want to travel but cannot take their pets with them. I also wish all people will give careful consideration to keeping a pet and not give pets as presents. Pets are not for Christmas, they are for life. Pets are not goods - you cannot play with them for a few months and then put them aside and not want them anymore. Even if you have given careful consideration and consulted your family, avoid getting a pet at Christmas and giving pets as presents. Children might think the pet is like other presents and can be disposed of when they tire of it.' Sicilian odyssey Amy Leung Author, No Sweat Cantonese and No Sweat Canto-love 'In the morning, Santa Claus will wake me up and give me a present - my dream partner. Then we will start a romantic journey to the Italian island of Sicily. Our hotel room will be in a snow house with white furnishings, and lots of red roses and red wine. We will share good food and take a hot bath with red rose petals. Then we will stroll on the beach which will not be polluted under the blue sky. We will meet penguins and seals on the beach and they will surprise us by speaking Cantonese. We will meet Santa with his reindeer and help distribute presents to the animals. On Boxing Day, my love and I will fly to the United States and see Oprah Winfrey on her show. I like her because she is smart, has a beautiful heart and treats people with respect.' Simple pleasures Paul Yu North District Councillor 'I want to spend time with my family. Having a simple dinner, going shopping and having fun. People over 40 years old don't need romance. We want things that we can control. My childhood dream was to contribute to society, and that is what I have been doing. My job requires long working hours and I don't have enough time to spend with my family. During Christmas, Tsim Sha Tsui and Sheung Shui are two different worlds. I wish people, especially the elderly in Sheung Shui, can also share in the festive spirit. I also wish Hong Kong could enjoy Christmas like it used to be before 1997. Everyone had a job and a satisfying lifestyle. People were happy to indulge themselves without worrying too much about the future.' Away in a manger Alice Mak Kar-bik Creator, McMug and McDull 'I wish to go back 2006 years and be present as one of the sheep in the manger where Jesus was born. People wouldn't keep a watchful eye on a sheep, so I could get really close to the baby Jesus. I want to know if Jesus smelt like all newborns. I want to see if Mary is a pretty girl, and how bright the star was that led the three kings of the Orient to Bethlehem.' Remembering the confined and the elderly Vivian Chu Doctor, Evangel Hospital 'I would have parties at elderly centres and in prisons, joined by my family and friends. This is to let the elderly and the prisoners know they are not forgotten. Over the past few years, I have had to work on Christmas Day. We usually have an extra number of patients on public holidays, when most other private clinics are closed. Another Christmas wish is that there be zero number of patients admitted to hospital as a result of excessive alcohol intake, drugs or drunk driving accidents. I would also like to be in good health over the season. Last year, I didn't feel well on Christmas Eve, but I still had to work.' Good food, warmth and laughter Peter Kam Pui-tat Composer, winner of the Silver Bear Award for best film music at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival 'I want to stay warm indoors with the outside as cold as it can be in Hong Kong. I would spend time with my family and my long-lost friends. We will reminisce about what we have been through together and after we went our own ways. We will share good food and good laughs. We will count our blessings and be prepared to face the next year. Through technology, the world becomes smaller, but distance still exists between people. After going into the media industry, I have become busier and busier every year and don't have much time to spend with my family and my best friends in the United States. I like the idea of carolling, but don't really enjoy it because I don't like going out in the cold weather.' Spider-Santa Jimmy Chung Quantitative analyst 'A typical Christmas would be sitting by the fire in a warm house with family members and sharing the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ. Children will pretend to be asleep while waiting for Santa Claus. What do I expect for Christmas? How about this: I am watching the Chelsea-Manchester United match on a 20-inch flat screen TV in my room and thinking about a 37-inch LCD TV. As the clock strikes 3am, Santa Claus comes into my 17th floor apartment through the window without the reindeers. He climbs up like Spider-Man. Quietly places the gift under my bed instead of the tree. The gift is the LCD TV. Then I sing to myself What a Wonderful World.' Unseasonal greetings Isaac Leung Programme director, Videotage (an artists' collective that promotes the development of video and new media art in Hong Kong) 'I once had a fantasy of celebrating Christmas in July, and we made it come true. We invited people to dress up and we did everything people do at Christmas parties, like decorating the room, exchanging presents, putting up a tree and singing carols. We went to Lan Kwai Fong and wished people 'Merry Christmas!' It was great fun. People came up to us and took pictures with us. It was really hard to find a Christmas tree in the middle of summer.' Wish upon the Moon Chris Wong Group scout leader, 4th Sheung Yue Group 'My perfect Christmas would be to go camping on the Moon, with thousands of people from all over the world. We would have a specially designed tent to suit the lunar environment. We would build bridges of bamboo and rope across the craters, and go hiking, our backpacks weighing a lot less than they do on Earth. At night, we would watch the Earth and the stars, and in the morning we would watch the sunrise and note how it differed from a sunrise as seen on Earth. We would discuss the possibility of setting up scout groups on the Moon.' Courage for living Connie Fang Optometrist 'I wish to go back to the time of Jesus and watch his whole life in one day from when he was born to the time he was crucified. I will have the chance to talk to him and ask him how he endured everything and how he was feeling during every event. I will understand more about he who has the power to control everything in the world. I will talk to him about things that cannot be found in the Bible. I want to ask him how he prepared his heart when he knew all the terrible things that would be done to him. I will learn from his determination and strength and love and bravery, and know how to deal with things in my life.' Play Santa and spin carols Sammy Leung and Kitty Yuen Disc jockeys, Commercial Radio Kitty 'I wish to see the real Santa Claus. I very much want to go to Lapland and visit him. And I hope that he will find me a good guy to be my boyfriend.' Sammy 'I wish to be Santa and go around with my reindeer, distributing gifts.' Health for all Joanna Leung Chinese medicine practitioner 'I wish everyone good health and hope all their dreams come true. I wish for a white Christmas in Hong Kong. When I wake up in the morning I will see Quarry Bay covered with snow. I will go into the streets and play with the snow and remember my parents, who have both passed away.' Parcels for the elderly Chan Mang-shing Postman 'On Christmas Day, I wish to have post delivered 100 per cent to the receivers and they can all save the trouble of coming to the post office to collect. In the area where I work, people are mainly elderly and it is difficult for them to walk and carry the post or parcels all the way home. If there are parcels that cannot be sent the first time, I usually suggest people call the post office and ask for a redistribution. When I distribute post to peoples' houses, they will be having fun at home and I can share a little bit of their festive atmosphere. After working, I will have a Christmas buffet with my wife.' A joyful reunion Wong Chor-dat Truck driver 'I wish to have a family reunion with my wife and my two daughters. I was a gambler and lost a lot of money. In 2000, I was bankrupt and separated from my wife. The bankruptcy period finished last year, my wife forgave me and accepted me back home again. But soon I gambled again and my wife kicked me out of the home and said she didn't want to see me again. My wife and daughters haven't talked to me again. I became homeless and slept on football grounds. I also wish to see my elder daughter again. She left home in 1998 and has never contacted us since. My wife and I tried to find her but couldn't. I have become a better person now. With the help of SoCo [Society for Community Organisation], I got into the homeless football team and represented Hong Kong to go to the Homeless World Cup in South Africa. I have now found a job and have a place to stay, and I do volunteer jobs whenever I have time. I miss my wife so much, I even miss arguing with her. I really hope my wife can forgive me and accept me back into the family.' The family together again Wong Yi-hing Novelist 'I wish to go back in time to the house where my extended family lived. I would celebrate Christmas with them. On December 16, I would ask my uncle to take the Christmas tree out. On Christmas Eve, I would go into the kitchen several times to see what mum was preparing for dinner. I would excitedly guess whether my aunt has bought me what I want for Christmas. I miss the days when the whole family made an effort to make a perfect Christmas. But now my family has dispersed to different districts in the city and I always have to work on Christmas Day.' Happiest with a Hong Kong Christmas Tim Conti English solicitor who has lived in Hong Kong for 20 years 'I'd be more than happy to stay in Hong Kong with my wife. I have lived through too many cold Christmases and I definitely don't miss white Christmases. I haven't been back to Europe at Christmas for 15 years. In Hong Kong, my wife and I will walk up the hills on Lantau Island then dine with our friends. Hong Kong's weather is best at Christmas. It is my favourite time of year in Hong Kong. If money is not an object, I'm tempted to cruise with my wife on the Queen Mary or go to Switzerland.' Rhapsody on a fantasy theme Aristo Sham Ching-toa Musician, 10 years old, and winner of the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists 'I wish to visit with my family the Fortree City in Hoemm in the Pokemon game. The city is built on top of trees and is famous for its delicious marshmallows. I would have a snowy Christmas there. I like the city because of its gym and its leader, Winona, who uses only flying types. I like flying types. My first Pokemon was a flying type.' Japanese jaunt Michael Lau Toy designer 'I'd like to go to Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, Japan, stand on the streets alone surrounded by sparkling tiny yellow bulbs, watching people pass by and enjoy a silent night. It would also be nice to have a group of 10 to 20 people celebrating together but my friends don't have the time or money.' A day with my dogs Bambi Chung Tak-lun Cancer survivor 'I would like to spend this Christmas with the ones I love most. For now, they are my dogs. I will spend the whole day with my dogs, playing, hiking and cuddling with them.' Stories around the fire Patricia Lam Kwok-po Primary school teacher 'I'd like to have a reunion with mum, my kids, my six brothers and sister and their children in a villa in Yellowstone Park. We could sit around the fire and tell our kids our childhood stories and play the games we used to play. My brothers and sister are dispersed all over the world. Some of them haven't been back to Hong Kong in decades. My mother has heart disease and the doctor advises her not to fly on a plane. I miss them so much.' Disaster-free Christmas Bonnie So Yuen-han Head, International and Relief Services, Hong Kong Red Cross 'I hope that there won't be any disasters near Christmas. On December 26, 2003, most of the city of Bam, Iran, was destroyed by an earthquake and tens of thousands were killed. On December 26, 2004, an earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in South Asia, killing more than 300,000. I wish for a quiet Christmas with sound sleep and no urgent calls. May peace be on the Earth.' Austria bound Emily Lai Wi-yan Clerk, property management company 'I'd like to travel to Austria with the guy I have a secret love for. I love the romantic atmosphere of Austria. I also want to make a gingerbread house and give it to him as a Christmas present.' Smiles for all Joe Yau Lecturer, department of computer science, Baptist University 'I wish to give a huge, cheerful smile to everyone I meet on the streets and they won't feel awkward or think I'm crazy. People will return my smile. Hongkongers are so defensive, they cannot even accept a friendly smile. I'd share the gospel with as many people as I can. Many youngsters think that on Christmas Eve they have to play overnight and going home is a sin. I want to share love with these youngsters who don't know the real meaning of Christmas but feel peer group pressure.' Beach, oysters, chardonnay Suzanne Liu Duddek Accountant 'My dream Christmas would be spent at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, enjoying its hot, sunny and dry weather. As a book lover, I'd be reading books by my favourite authors on the beach while sunbathing, free of distractions. At lunchtime, eating a platter of Sydney rock oysters, sipping glasses of icy-cold Australian chardonnay at a beachfront restaurant along Bondi Beach and dining alfresco would be paradise. At dinner time, a beach barbecue with shrimps served with a bottle of Australian cabernet sauvignon. Strolling along the beach with my husband, starting from North Bondi and continuing all the way down to South Bondi while we watch the sunset, would be very romantic.' Multicultural celebration Sandy Lew Dubai-born Hong Kong resident 'I love Christmas. It's my favourite time of year. Even as a Pakistani Christian born and brought up in Dubai, we usually had a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey, Brussels sprouts, curry and rice and Christmas pudding. Now that I have my own family, we continue with the traditions, minus the curry, and love to have those who are closest and dearest to us over for a traditional Christmas dinner. The tree, the decorations, the nativity plays at churches and schools, carols playing everywhere - I love all that. My ideal Christmas day would start by opening a few presents with the children, having homemade Christmas cake with tea while carols are playing in the background. My husband loves doing the turkey, so he gets that in the oven as soon as possible. We would then go to morning service at church and come home and get the rest of the lunch ready. Guests would start arriving and presents would be opened and there would be lots of noise, and family would be ringing from all over the world.' A welcome son Rita Sum Bank teller, expectant mother 'My dream Christmas is having a party in a huge house in Hong Kong with friends and family, and my newborn baby Justin (due in December). Outside it is snowing. In the house there are very stylish Christmas decorations. I introduce baby Justin to my friends and he smiles at them.' Stroll through the snow Vincent Chung Logistics clerk 'My dream Christmas is wandering the streets in the snow, holding hands tight with my loved one. We watch the beautiful Christmas lights and beautiful exchange of glances between lovers. Then we go to a restaurant with a very festive atmosphere and eat a delicious meal. We drink a little wine and chat the whole night long.' My own way Chet Lam Singer-songwriter 'I am not keen on festival celebrations. I don't even celebrate my own birthday. Filling emptiness with festive celebrations does not work, at least for me. I want to live my own life and not follow what everyone does. A perfect Christmas is a normal day. I'll keep the peace of mind and won't do anything. Greatest love Dorothy Hui Form Six student 'Christmases nowadays seem to be stuffed with Christmas puddings and Santa Claus. It has altered a lot from the first Christmas when there was a loving God who decided to leave heavenly royalty to be with those he created, just to experience the life that is bound by time and space. Christmas is a festival for people to remember this greatest act of love in human history. Wouldn't it be great if we could spend the holiday season with our families and give them the kind of undivided attention that they so deserve? Friendships renewed Kwok Wah Programmer 'Whenever it is near Christmas I feel there are warm tears about to spill from my eyes for some reason. I like the warmth of these tears and I like receiving greetings from my friends all around, especially those who I haven't kept in touch with for a long time. I wish to spend the time with the people I love and who love me. Just being together would be enough, holding hands or hugging. I didn't know the real meaning of Christmas until I realised the significance of Jesus Christ. He cares about us.' Montreal memories Christy McCormick Journalist 'My home town, snowbound Montreal, is the best place for Christmas. Even its airport code is 'YUL', recalling the Yuletide season. When I was much younger, sprawled on my broad bedroom window sill with my head sticking out a few nights before Christmas, heavy snow flakes fell on my face. Three laughing pretty girls, bundled in coats and hats, held glasses of red wine. One was stuck in a snow bank near a church across the street. The others were trying to pull her out. It was a night of laughter and smiles of many a 'Merry Christmas' and 'Joyeux Noel' passed between people. Soon a gallant young man came to their rescue, and just then the music burst from the church, aglow with soft light from its stained glass windows. A full throated choir sang Gloria in Excelsis Deo. Several passersby stopped to marvel at the moment. For a few seconds at least, I felt we gave a little thought to what Christmas was all about.' Rock 'n' roll heaven Marc Wathen English teacher 'My ideal Christmas Day is to ascend to Rock 'n' Roll Heaven. As I knocked on Heaven's door, I would be greeted by John Lennon and George Harrison. As I played a medley of Beatles songs on my harp, George Harrison would play While My Guitar Gently Weeps on his celestial guitar. John says that he wishes peace on Earth as he gazes down from the clouds. George remarks that we are all spiritual beings who should try to help humankind during our short time in the temporal world. As I leave, we all sing Merry X'Mas (War is Over). I then wander through the purple haze and encounter Jimi Hendrix who is singing ''Scuse me while I kiss the sky...'. I tell Jimi that in his short time on Earth, he influenced many in my generation. Jimi reminds me of his famous quote, 'When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.' Magic in Macau Lau Chi-hung Construction worker, Macau 'My ideal Christmas Day must be romantic. I would like to invite my wife and seven-year-old son, both of whom are living in the mainland and have never been to Macau before, to come here. We will take a walk on the famous Hac Sa Bay and later have a Portuguese dinner.' Tahiti bound Jocelyn Sierra Missionary 'My dream would be to spend the day with Jesus, my family and friends in an orphanage and an elderly home in Hong Kong and then fly to Tahiti for a special dinner to celebrate Jesus's birthday.' Banishing consumerism Ernest Lam Master's journalism student, the Chinese University of Hong Kong 'My dream is a Christmas without any consumer goods. People won't be busy shopping and stores can close for a day. Even people working in the service sector don't have to go to work; they can go home and have a lovely dinner with their families. They celebrate together the true meaning of Christmas which is the peace and joy Jesus brought to the world. On that day, people act out the meaning of Christmas by inviting the homeless and needy to have dinner together. After dinner, people can forget their worries and go to church to enjoy the peace Christmas carols bring, then take a stroll with family in beautiful parks to enjoy a zero-money-spent-but-full-of-love Christmas.'