You better not cry, you better not pout. Hopefully Santa is still coming, even if he knows a bunch of bankers have been really bad this year. If the economy is bringing you down, maybe some of these odd, unusual and wacky holiday tales from local personalities will give you some holiday cheer. One year, my friends and I decided to go to Whistler, Canada, for the weekend. I thought nothing of it because I worked out regularly back then, and skiing didn't look too hard. We arrived at the ski rental place and put on our gear, looking fashionably ready for the slopes. I did mention subtly that I'd never skied before. They nodded and I assumed they understood. We took the gondola to the easier slopes. I watched my friend take off, looking real cool. Another friend asked: 'You'll be all right?' I smiled. She said: 'Just remember, if it doesn't feel right, fall on your bottom or step on the bindings and let go of your skis and ski poles.' Then she left, looking even more cool with her hair in the air. So I thought, here goes. 'Aaaaah!' I screamed with my arms, legs and hair in the air, too. I didn't get far. One of the Whistler personnel suggested I try out the bunny slopes, near the base of the mountain. I went. I was happy, surrounded by five-year-olds who looked like they were ready for the Winter Olympics in 2010. Karena Lam Ka-yan, actress In Italy, Christmas is a time to get together with your family and wrap each other with love. Ever since I came to Hong Kong 15 years ago, Christmas has become synonymous with endless work. The restaurant is always full of celebrating diners. However, last year it came with a small touching story. Before Christmas, a long-time friend had planned to surprise his wife with her favourite white truffles in celebration of their new baby. At that time it was no longer the harvest season and my calls to trufflers in Italy were in vain. As a last resort I asked my sister Emaneulla to continue the search, hoping to be able to bring good news to the couple. Eventually, with some difficulty, the Christmas gift was ready to be air-mailed to Hong Kong. On the day it arrived in Hong Kong, so did Emaneulla and her great lovely smile. She had put herself on the plane along with the parcel as a gift for me - it was a simple act of love and it made that Christmas a day to remember forever. After all, the charms of this time of year are best manifested in simple stories of love. Umberto Bombana, chef One year, I made plans to exchange gifts with some friends on Christmas Eve but I was caught up with work as usual and literally had no time to shop until the same afternoon. So I didn't disappoint myself and bought two big bags of gifts at a major shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, and believe me, one of the boxes was gigantic. I was happy and ready by the pavement to take a taxi home to wrap the gifts, but I waited and waited and still no taxi came. So I went to a taxi stand - and waited and waited. Still no taxis. That year was one of those very warm Christmases. I was standing there for almost an hour and started to wonder whether something was wrong, so I asked and found out the roads around the area were blocked for incoming vehicles to facilitate the crowds about to flood in for the Christmas countdown that evening. I was stranded and had to walk home. I ended up walking with two huge bags of presents and sweating like crazy. What a Christmas Eve. It was definitely not a peaceful one. Stephy Tang Lai-yan, singer-actress I had an embarrassing Christmas moment when I had guests over for a holiday dinner a few years back. My home was lit for a festive dinner with candles, and under the flickering candlelight one of my guests picked up from the carpet what he thought was a cookie that had fallen on the floor. But to his shock and horror, my puppy at the time had just done a little poo. Now, when I show new guests around my home, I jokingly tell them this is not the sitting room, but the s***ting room. Benjamin Lau, co-founder of G.O.D.