Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Singapore Christmas

If it weren't for the temperature and humidity, this December would feel like any other. The malls have been decked out in Christmas finery, Christmas music is playing in every store, and B3 squeals, "Santa!" every time he spots him in an ad, on a store counter, or even in person.  Indeed, it's been looking a lot like Christmas around here for quite a while!

We brought a small Christmas tree with us since we didn't know what we'd find when we got here, and it was a thrill for B3 and AK to decorate it Thanksgiving weekend.  We paid S$20 a strand for lights; they would have cost even more had we waited to find the LED kind.  It's decorated with some ornaments from home and lots of homemade ones from AK's last few school years.  She seems to remember a story about each one, so it's a trip down memory lane for her every time she pulls one out of the box.  There are her fingerprint angels from the year she turned 2, snowflakes made of beads during a Colorado ski trip, and the glitter bell from last year's class.

Singapore's main shopping street, Orchard Road, gets a fancy light display every year.  It's a big deal; the president switches on the lights during a festive celebration.  Each year, the lights are different.  This year, Ben says it looks like a Dr. Seuss Christmas.

The malls are decorated, too. 

Sometimes, it's easy to forget where we are; by looking at the stores, we could be in any American mall.  Although, I wonder who's wearing the wool sweaters and boots from the Gap around here.

AK and I celebrated the Season with a trip to see The Nutcracker last weekend, too.  It was our first visit to the Esplanade theaters, which are architecturally unique buildings on the Singapore River.  Our seats stunk, but we managed to fix that during intermission, and the show was terrific.  The story was a bit different, but it was similar enough that we didn't get lost.  She loved every minute of it!

Then, this week, AK performed in her school's Winter concert.  It was an experience to hear them sing, "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" as we sweated and fanned and searched for cool water, but she was thrilled to be on stage with her friends. Santa showed up, too, and he even spoke to B3 on his way to the stage.  B3 was starstruck!

Here's a video of her performance; bonus points if you can find her!

In addition to the Concert, her school had a little event last weekend, too.  She was able to shop for us with an Elf and choose her very own gifts.  She also had a chat with Santa and reported that she knew she would get a Barbie on Christmas morning. How could she be so certain?  "I whispered it in his ear!", she replied. 

Cookies were also enjoyed after her visit with Santa.

She also took a moment to show off her newly acquired, mad hula hoop (or, as she calls it, hulee hoop) skills.

AK was thrilled to buy her own gifts, and she managed us to con us into opening them on the 14th of December.

She chose the perfect gift for her Daddy:  a light up snowman ornament that changes colors.  They both love it!

She bought a turtle puzzle for B3, which he seemed to really enjoy.  He's into counting now, so the five numbered pieces were a hit.

Lastly, she chose some lovely beads made from recycled paper for me.  She was happy to model them for me. 

 All of the local condo complexes are also decorated for Christmas, and some are really nicely done.  Just down the street, there's a great big snowman and some lovely lights.  Our complex is decorated with a certain flair of its own.  The red, white, blue and gold stars are more reminiscent of the Fourth of July than Christmas, but it's festive. 

And then there's this...
We keep wondering if there's going to be a dance with some 70's music, but nothing so far. 

We've enjoyed the sights, lights, and sounds of Christmas this year.  We haven't missed the busyness and stressof Christmases past; it's been blissfully slow and quiet.  Amazon has taken care of most of our shopping, and we're looking forward to enjoying the Holidays in Georgia.  While I'm not looking forward to the long flights, I can't wait to hear the giggles of cousins playing and  watch Grandmas in the kitchen with AK and B3.  I'm looking forward to unlimited Dr. Pepper and small town Mexican food, a trip to Target, and driving a car (for the first time since August 5).  It's certain to be a busy nearly 3 weeks, and we'll be glad to return to our routine on January 4.  One thing is for certain:  it will definitely be a Christmas to remember!


Chrystal said...

I can't believe you kept the silver bell from school last year!! That thing hit the trash before it even saw the inside of our house! Can't wait to see you guys! :)

Alicia said...

I just cannot get over seeing those children in sleeveless dresses and shorts! In December, for goodness sake!

Jean said...

Loved the movie of Anna Kate!