After escaping from India and having an early family Christmas meal in Scotland, before spending the holiday season in Australia, Singapore was definitely an interesting place to experience Advent. Christmas is commercialised here for sure, with the original, deeper meaning not even known to start with , let alone lost, something I was told by friends is common with many significant holidays in the calendar, but it’s a different kind of commercialised; here, Christmas is classy. Gone is that repetitive, uninspired drivel, industrially churned out over the airwaves every year, and instead you hear the clear, calculated notes of orchestral, piano or choral covers of Christmas carols and holiday songs alike. Gone are the gaudy , injection moulded Santas, else’s and reindeer, and epilepsy inducing trees dressed in a lazy, haphazard manner, and in are elegantly spiralling trees, evenly decorated and carefully arranged, while the leafy path along the Park Royal is a tunnel of white lights, while red baubles float in the quietly tricking fountain alongside. Okay, so I was greeted by a completely random Spongebob Squarepants inflatable assault course in Changi Airport, complete with a giant Spongebob (with Santa hat) towering ominously over Bikini Bottom, but overall Christmas here is incredibly bearable. The warm weather helps too, I’m sure. The most unexpected homage to the holiday was at Gardens by the Bay, one of my favourite spots in Singapore (which I still have to write about), where they had decorated their mushrooming “Supertrees” with oversized Christmas tree decorations, among other displays throughout the park. It certainly made me crack a smile!
Wherever you are this Christmas, I hope it’s a very happy one and best wishes for 2014!