Cover Cheung (far right) with his dance partner Rebecca Woo at the Philharmonic Ball in December 1988. (Photo: Courtesy of Peter Cheung)

From holidays in Hawaii to New Year's Eve spent tearing through the city, Peter Cheung has a reputation for spending his holiday season in style

Christmas 2019 was a non-affair due to Covid-19, so this year I'll be bringing extra generosity and cheer. Here, I look back warmly at three of my favourite festive seasons—with some of my most special festive memories of all time.

Maui Christmas

In the early Nineties, when I was studying in Canada, I had the pleasure of being invited to Maui, Hawaii by my friend David Agell and his parents. They had two amazing homes side-by-side, overlooking the water, and generously invited me and many of our Hong Kong friends to spend Christmas and New Year. We did this several years in a row, and each year was a wonderful opportunity for far-flung friends, who were living or also studying in other parts of the world, to all gather and spend some amazing time together against a spectacular backdrop and to thaw out our winter blues.

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One for mom

I took my family to Hanoi at Christmastime in 2011. My nephew, his wife and my two sisters were visiting Hong Kong from Canada that year. I wanted to treat my family to a trip all together and as I knew my mom’s health was not the best at that time, I thought a trip away would be memorable. We went to Vietnam, and had a wonderful time, staying at the beautiful Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, which I knew my mom would love.

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We didn’t do much that trip; I recall spending lots of time with my mom, going out for amazing dinners, and just being together as a family. In hindsight, I am so glad that we took that trip. That was the last overseas trip my mom ever took, and I know my sisters, my nephew and my niece in law will always cherish the memories of the special time that we had.

Ringing in the new

Before taking those Maui trips, I would never miss a festive season in Hong Kong with friends. As kids, we were that “astronaut generation”, who all studied abroad, and the Christmas (and summer) breaks back to Hong Kong were what I lived for. Christmas was a non-stop slew of dinners, parties and events (how did we all keep track without smartphones?) I recall 1988 being particularly special, as it was like a coming of age, and the year of the first Vienna Philharmonic Ball, a debutante gala where I met a lot of my lifelong friends.

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New Year was the crescendo, and in 1988 we went to a dizzying number of places. We had a drinks party at my friend Alison Lusher’s (née Fallon) incredible house on Lugard Road at the Peak, then carpooled to the former Queen’s Pier to spend the countdown on a boat on Victoria Harbour, then went back to shore to make several appearances at different New Year’s parties in Central, then of course, we went to Lan Kwai Fong, and in the early morning, we all gathered at the old Mandarin Grill for a fry-up breakfast, which was our tradition. We would return home late morning, have a snooze, then we had the youthful energy to do it all again on New Year’s Day.


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