Merry Christmas!! We went on the DUCK & HiPPO Christmas Light-Up tour on one of their topless buses the other day to get a good look at the Christmas lights on Orchard Rd. The tickets were $10 each but my aunt had 4 complimentary tickets and the option to buy more tickets at $5 so it was a really good deal for us!
The bus picked us up from the stop outside Midpoint Orchard and the tour was about half an hour. It was rather short but the kids enjoyed it! I think it could have been better publicised; our bus was practically empty. The other option would be the FunVee Orchard Rd Christmas tour which includes a river boat ride and dinner voucher but it’s a lot more expensive and not really worth it if you really just want to see the lights.
I love looking at the Christmas lights in Orchard Rd! It’s something we used to do every year as kids and I have many photos of my sister and I posing with Christmas decorations in front of random shopping centres. Now I get to take my own kids to see the Christmas lights!
We took Anya to Legoland theme park in January but didn’t bring her brother along because he was too tiny then. So while we were staying at Legoland Hotel, we bought the 2-day combo ticket and visited the theme park a few times. Since there are very few rides that Adam can go on (and even fewer for me!), we split up with Adrian accompanying Anya for the fun stuff while Adam and I went on the tamer rides. We started off with a ride on the Legoland Express before heading to Duplo Play Town to meet up with Anya who had gone for the rides at Lego Kingdoms.
Adam managed to get on the Lost Kingdom ride and enjoyed it very much. Then it was lunch at Market Restaurant before we headed to Lego City for Junior Driving School (for Anya), the Boating School (very long queue) and the Rescue Academy (we all got on but only Adrian did any work).
After visiting The Big Shop and going for one more ride on the Aquazone Wave Racers (something Anya was too short for the last time), we went back to the hotel to check in. Adam had his nap while the other two went back out for more rides before we all met up together again for the carolling and Christmas tree light-up. I think it’s so great that the park is open until 8pm during the holidays! It’s a lot cooler in the evening and most of the queues are shorter as well.
We visited the park again on the second day after the Water Park and managed to sit on a few more rides. There wasn’t much of a queue at the City Airport so they went on the ride a few times in a row! The Forestmen’s Hideout playground over at Lego Kingdoms is usually to hot to play on during the day but it was a nice and cool evening so the kids had fun running around there. Then it was a ride on The Dragon’s Apprentice roller-coaster for the taller ones before we left Legoland.
The Boys’ Brigade (BB) Share-A-Gift is a community service project that I’ve been supporting for many years now, first as a teacher-in-charge of BB in the school I was teaching in, then as a BB officer, and now with my family. We make it a point to take the kids to buy food items for donation to the project and to explain to them who gets the food and why they need it. Last year, we also delivered food hampers and we took part in the delivery this time around as well.
When we reported for our delivery duty last Sunday, we were quite irritated by the lack of order. It wasn’t clear which gate we were supposed to drive in by so cars were trying to enter and exit at the same time. There was a van blocking the driveway even though it had a reserved car park lot and there were several volunteers standing around obstructing traffic. We didn’t know who or where we were supposed to report to and there was no one to help us load the bags. I was a bit unhappy about all this because the project has been going on for about 25 years and a clear system should be in place so as not to waste volunteers’ time and efforts.
At the end of the day, although things could have been better run, I think it’s important to focus on the aims of the project. BB Share-A-Gift reaches out to many needy people in Singapore and it promotes the spirit of caring for and sharing with others.
While we were doing our delivery, one lady returned her food hamper to us. She said that even though her husband had had a stroke and could not work, she was still fortunate to have a job and could earn enough to sustain the two of them. And since the husband and wife were vegetarians, many of the items in the food hamper would not be consumed by them. She wanted us to give the food hamper to someone who needed it more than she did. It was a humbling lesson in graciousness for me.
So I will continue to support this project and I hope that other Singaporeans, regardless of race or religion, will do so as well. You can still make donations, online or otherwise, and volunteer to deliver food hampers. Have a Heart; Share a Gift.
I can’t believe it’s December already! The entire year has flown by and we’re so near to Christmas. It’s really hard for me to keep Anya entertained during the holidays (especially with all the rainy days) and she’s always asking to do art and craft. So the LolliBox Christmas Hamper was very useful the past few days!
The LolliBox Christmas Hamper comes with one Lollibox (we got Icy Adventures), a storage caddy, a Holly Christmas wooden door hanger set, a Christmas sticker book, a pair of 3M Kids Scissors, kids PVA glue, 12-pc coloured pencils and a 12-pc marker set.
She decided to work on the Christmas door hanger first. I love that everything needed for the door hanger is provided so I don’t have to search the house for craft materials. The craft was manageable for her so I tried not to interfere and only helped to outline her name when she was done painting so that it would stand out more.
Then she got to work on a Santa wobbler. But she decided that Santa doesn’t have to be red, black and white and I didn’t want to influence her creative process so by the time she was done with Santa, he looked like a Lego figure. But she was happy with it!
Our Lollibox Christmas Hamper came with the Icy Adventures Lollibox. So the next day, Anya wanted to make a penguin snow-bowling set. I had to help her a little bit more with this because the penguin bowling pins are made from very good quality cardboard which is difficult for her to roll and stick together. She had no problems colouring the accessories for the penguins and sticking them on though.
She was quite content to sit around and bowl with the penguin bowling pins and snowball after she was done. We still have an Eskimo mask to make and Anya’s looking forward to working on it. We are also going to make Christmas cards and gift tags with the Christmas sticker book that came in the hamper! That’s a few more rainy-day crafts to buy me some time before I have to start looking for other things for her to do!
Our final Christmas party of the year was held at The Cheans’ and it was another night of good food and fun for the kids. It’s so cool to think that here’s going to be at least twice the number of kids next year! Which means twice the noise and twice the chaos!!
We had a little gathering at Juan’s place on Boxing Day. It was a happy and chaotic party with ten little kids, and they were all crawling/ jumping/ running around. The only one who stayed where he was placed was little Aaron, the newest addition! He’s the 14th kid (and 12th boy) in the gang.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of meeting up with this mad bunch of friends. It’s been about 20 years since we started celebrating Christmas together. They are like family to me and I’m glad our kids get along and can play together.
The pictures below are all taken by Vonnie.