Every December, the Christmas season brings a much-needed energy boost, sparkle and shine to the last month of the year. There are generally good vibes all around as people prepare to tie up loose ends, clear their annual leave, collect bonuses and sip on Starbucks toffee nut lattes.
It’s a season that’s full of traditions made and kept too. There’s the mandatory trip down to Orchard Road to snap some pics with the festive décor and lights. And, of course, presents to be bought, wrapped, exchanged and opened. The tree needs to be set up, decorated and piled with presents. For some, it’s a day in church singing Christmas carols and revisiting the Christmas story.
The truth is that sometimes the list of traditions and Christmas routines can become meaningless. Surely that’s not how Christmas was meant to be.
Read on to find out the ways you can make this year’s Christmas an extra special one for you and your loved ones!
#1 Dig into history
We bet you’re scratching your head at this one! What’s so fun about history, you might ask? Well, take a quick moment to take this simple quiz below.
- What does “Feliz Navidad” really mean?
- Where did the act of gift-giving come from?
- Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?
- Who invented the Christmas log cake?
- How did people start believing in Santa Claus?
Well, did you know all the answers? This is your chance to do a bit of research, excavate the online archives and discover what the elements of Christmas, which we so often simply take for granted, are all about.
If anything else, your research will provide you with plenty of trivia to amuse and entertain family and friends over Christmas dinner.
#2 Host a Christmas party for your neighbours
Christmas is typically a time spent with loved ones, most especially your immediate family and closest friends. But not everyone has the luxury of such time or the blessing of a close-knit family to turn to. If you’re staying in a flat, chances are you’ll know of one such family on your floor – a home where Christmas is just another public holiday to be crossed off the calendar, with no special reason to celebrate. This year, why not set yourself the challenge of bringing joy to your neighbour (or neighbours) by planning and hosting a Christmas gathering in your home?
Invitations can be by word of mouth or even knocking door to door at every home on your floor. Alternatively, you can just invite a couple of families that you are relatively more familiar with. Another option is to invite the families whom you regularly meet when you bring your kids down to the playground. After all, everyone is in the vicinity, so distance shouldn’t be a major factor.
If you don’t feel up to whipping up a Christmas feast, you can consider ordering online. Or make it a pot-luck event where everyone contributes a dish or two. In terms of entertainment, you can turn to good old-fashioned board games or rent an interesting movie. Or simply wine and chocolate for the adults to chat over, while the kids have free rein with the toys.
#3 Be a blessing to those in need
Then there are those whom you may have never met, but who are sorely in need of some good cheer. These are the less fortunate among us, many of whom don’t have the energy or time to even feel in a Christmassy mood.
There are many ways you could be a blessing to them. Hold a flea sale and give all proceeds to charity. Volunteer with a social centre in their Christmas event for the community or to help deliver Christmas packs to the poor. For more ideas, check out www.giving.sg or www.habitat.org.sg.
By Dorothea Chow
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