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ECCT celebrates Christmas with a European flavour

The ECCT's 2013 Christmas lunch, held directly after the chamber's AGM, had a distinctive pan-European flavour. The programme featured some old favourites but also a few new items from different parts of Europe. To start off festivities, instead of Champagne, guests enjoyed warm mulled wine, accompanied by gingerbread cookies. Mulled wine is red wine combined with spices and served warm. It is a popular Christmas favourite in many parts of Europe. In Scandinavia it is called glogg while in  Germany and Austria it is known as gluhwein. Guests got into the spirit of Christmas by pulling Christmas crackers, popular in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Countries as part of Christmas celebrations. The lunch menu featured roast turkey, a favourite in the UK.

As has become tradition, the CEO of the Taipei European School (TES) was invited to say a few words during the lunch before introducing students from the school's junior choir to give a performance. In his remarks TES CEO Allan Weston spoke about the importance of TES to the international community in Taiwan and what he described as the symbiotic relationship between the school and the ECCT and its members. He emphasised a point not always sufficiently highlighted that providing a high quality education in English, French and German is important not just for children but also to attract international professionals with school-going children to Taiwan. After his brief remarks, Dr Weston proceeded to introduce the 60-strong TES junior choir, which sang three songs.

Before the children had left the stage, Santa Claus, who bore a striking resemblance to ECCT board director Nathan Kaiser, made a dramatic grand entrance carrying a bag loaded with gifts, which he proceeded to hand out to excited children. After this Santa called up one guest from each table, selected by lucky draw, to join him on stage to act as ECCT Christmas ambassadors and sing a Christmas song. They sang so well that the audience called for an encore, in response to which they dutifully sang another song. Given such a fine performance the ambassadors were rewarded with gifts from Santa. But no one at the party left empty-handed because afterwards Santa's helpers proceeded to hand out gifts to all the guests.