As a cold-blooded Canadian, it’s a funny feeling to be celebrating Christmas from a tropical country. Despite the 30 degree heat, I’m doing my best to spread some Christmas cheer around the island.
In the office, I managed to buy a real(!) Christmas tree (with soap in the water to act as mosquito repellent, a requirement for any standing water in Singaporean offices). I also hosted a holiday happy hour, complete with eggnog, shortbread cookies (not as good as Grandma’s!) and a screening of Home Alone. I also found a really great organization that was giving gifts to migrant workers in Singapore and coordinated a mini-drive. On Christmas Eve, I put the YouTube video of the fireplace on our big screen. Someone then said, “make sure you turn it off at night”. I laughed, thinking they were joking. It turns out that in the previous year, someone left the screen on over night and people at the neighbouring hotel thought there was a massive fire burning and called the fire department. So make sure to turn off your YouTube channels for fire safety!
Around the city, I have enjoyed checking out the decadent Christmas displays. On Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier shopping street, retailers are in a seeming competition. I have also had fun celebrating the lead-up to Christmas with friends.
As for Christmas itself, I checked myself into a resort in nearby Bintan, Indonesia, for a little relaxation. I’ve been enjoying the nice weather, I took an Indonesian cooking class and checking myself in for some spa time. Merry Christmas from the beach!