Digging out tried-and-tested roast recipes; online browsing for a new ugly sweater; making shopping lists; stocking up on candles to fill the house with sweet musky scents … It’s the time of year when everyone’s running in all directions doing the same things to prepare for the festive fun. Find out how Brian Sze is celebrating Christmas.
The senior vice president of Checkout.com, Brian Sze has a packed schedule, but with his work hard, play hard mentality, he puts in quality time with the people he loves whenever he has a free moment.
How do you celebrate Christmas?
I was born into a very traditional Chinese family, so celebrating Christmas wasn’t a priority growing up. However, my late mother always made sure our home felt festive and we always had a Christmas tree decked out with ornaments and lights with lots of presents under it. I’ve made an effort to continue the tradition my mother started by buying a noble fir tree every year and decorating it, along with my loved ones.
What would a Christmas feast look like hosted by you?
Think of a long table dressed in a green or red tablecloth. Small tea candles dotted around charcuterie spreads with nuts, fruits and cheeses. I’d switch things up with garlic bread, some guacamole and chips. A barbecue would be set up outside to do the final roast of a Tomahawk which would’ve been sous vide the night before, next to a side of razor clams, abalone and chicken wings for grilling. A sake clam soup is a must. Cherry on top of all this? Good friends and lots and lots of wine. Disclaimer: all the above would all have been prepared by “K”: my only help would be with opening wine bottles.
What’s on your wishlist this year?
This one’s easy: for “K” and I to be reunited with our fur babies back in Shanghai. Covid has made it difficult for us to travel and we’ve been apart from our two dogs RoRo and Xiao Bai for quite some time now. But if that can’t happen by Christmas, I wouldn’t mind Santa bringing me a new Royal Oak and/or Aquanaut.
What was your biggest challenge and accomplishment in 2022?
I used to find it challenging to keep a cool head but with age I’ve found it easier to control my emotions and my hot temper. I’m now able to approach most of my problems calm and collected. Keeping Zen is my lifelong challenge and is something I feel I’ve improved on a lot this year.