Christmas was only a few days ago and I love getting into the spirit of things, as I do every year! This is my favourite time/month/season/holiday and I’m thrilled that we get to celebrate for the whole month. So yes, keep clinking those glasses till the 12 days of Christmas are over!
Traditions and Christmas are synonymous in my book. When December rolls around, I love celebrating all the little traditions we hold dear. Some of these are naturally passed down from our families. However, as a young family, we have also started a few of our own to make our little girl’s celebrations more special and memorable. Here are some of the ways that our family celebrates Christmas:
1. Christmas Tree and Carols
My husband has placed a moratorium on this until the 1st of December, simply because I love Christmas so much that I’d probably start playing Christmas songs in October if I could!! So I patiently bide my time and wait for December to come round. Then I unleash ALL the decorations and never-ending festive music. Oh yes, and we must watch Love Actually at some point or other; it’s my all-time favourite Christmas feel-good movie!
2. Christmas Book Tree
An Aunt planted this idea last year and I’m trying to keep this going. The idea is to wrap a book for each day of December before Christmas to gift to your child, much like an advent calendar. You then read the unwrapped book that day. I only buy a few new books and wrap ones that she already has. That way, we get a mix of new stories as well as some of her old favourites, and this creates a varied and fun bedtime reading experience for the month!
3. Christmas Cookies
I prefer cooking to baking, but last year I made some Christmas-shaped cookies for TT to pass out to her friends. This year, we did the same and she even helped me with mixing in the ingredients and cutting out some shapes! We put them in cute cookie bags and gave them to her tiny friends whom she plays with, as well as big friends like our building receptionists and favourite waitresses in the cafe next door. I suppose I’ll need to work on my baking skills and next year’s aim is to decorate them with icing.
4. All Things Santa
Since having our little one, Santa has of course been more involved in our Christmas festivities. This year, we started writing a letter to Santa. Since TT can’t write yet, I asked her a few questions and asked her what she wanted to tell Santa. She didn’t need much prompting and I was a very busy secretary recording her message to him. We also took a photograph with a very friendly Santa Claus at Abu Dhabi Mall. TT loves talking to people, but she’s a bit shy when she initially meets them. Naturally she was the same with Santa but he was so kind and asked her all the right questions. Soon she stopped burying her face in my arm and whispered some answers in response. On the eve, we left a sweet treat and some milk for Santa. Thank goodness he found us even though we weren’t at home for the holidays and delivered the train that she had asked for!
5. Food To Warm the Heart and Belly
Like any true-blue Singaporean, our holiday revolves around food. When I was younger, my grandmother used to make a huge pot of Peranakan-style chicken curry for family and friends. My mum still has Christmas lunch at home but unfortunately we’ve not been able to join in recent years as we’ve been overseas for so long. My husband’s family has a traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Mulligatwany (a peppery and thin, almost soup-like curry with shredded chicken) paired with honey-glazed ham, and topped with pickles and fried shallots. This typical Eurasian meal is served at Christmas and is such a treat for all of us that we end up scoffing it way too quickly. Since we got married, I’ve learnt to make this dish as well as another Eurasian favourite, Devil Curry or Curry Debal. The latter is a much spicier curry, as the name implies, which I sometimes prepare for our parties. These days, making these dishes at Christmas also creates a sense of home and family. And even though we might not always be back in Singapore during this period, we are always reminded of our kin and loved ones.
So, with a belly still filled with yummy Christmas meals and goodies, and a heart full of good cheer and wishes from those near and far, I carry on celebrating while the 12 days of Christmas last. Wishing you the best this holiday season and everyday thereafter!
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