(from Diary December 11, 2006)

Every country we visited had lavish Christmas decorations throughout the malls and hotels and many other places of business. They had large Christmas trees, wreaths, posters of Santa, even gorgeous and very creative gingerbread houses in the bakery, etc. [photos] -- the only Christmas thing I didn't see was a place in the malls for children to sit on Santa's lap. The last evening in our Hong Kong hotel (November 30), I had admired larger-than-life whimsical bronze statues of two playful people and the next morning (December 1) they were both sporting full Santa costumes [photo below]. There was Christmas music in a majority of stores and hotels, even in places that would seem to be more traditional.

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