In a year devoid of large gatherings and parties, it’s all about intimate family time for Singapore’s social mix this Christmas. We take a peek at how they’re celebrating the season.
(Photos: Cheryl Wee, Paige Parker, Shireena Shroff Manchharam)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, và although the ongoing pandemic means that lavish Christmas parties are not making a comebaông chồng just yet, these society doyennes are making the most of the season.
After all, this year has brought about some blessings, including the possibility of travel lớn reunite with our nearest and dearest. CNA Luxury"s society friends give us a glimpse inkhổng lồ their festivities.
Astrie Sunindar-Ratner and family in Geneva, Switzerl&. (Photo: Astrie Sunindar-Ratner)
Christmas with our family in Geneva this year will always be one to lớn remember! Travelling this holiday season is not a decision that we as a family took lightly. My family’s health will always be my top priority but I realised that this trip was much needed for our mental wellbeing. Living in constant fear is not the way I want my children khổng lồ live!
COVID-19 is a lot of horrible things but it has taught us that life is so incredibly precious và hope is what will get us through! We have khổng lồ take chances, to live sầu in the now & most of all not khổng lồ take anything for granted. So we will treasure every minute we have together on this trip. We will hug those we have sầu missed so tightly and we will create memories with our family and friends whom we haven’t seen for the past two years!
Cheryl Wee và family. (Photo: Cheryl Wee)
Christmas has always been và will always be a special time for our family. As a Catholic family, the celebration of advent leading up khổng lồ Christmas is a joyous and meaningful one.
Every year, my dad would adorn the house with decorations & everyone at home page would play a part in the festivities. This year, now that my two kids Marc and Emma are a little older, we decided to bring them lớn enjoy various Christmas-related activities.
Some of the things we’ve sầu brought them to experience are the open-top Big Bus ride down Orchard Road khổng lồ see the Christmas lights. We also went to Christmas Wonderlvà at Gardens by the Bay và took the carousel, soaking in the bustling Christmas atmosphere. And we’ll be heading to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) since it is running a Christmas-themed event right now. USS is not only a place the kids enjoy, but myself too! We always have sầu family members join in these outings too, such as my parents or cousins.
The highlight of the Christmas season is Christmas Eve dinner at home page with family. As we can’t have many people over this year, it will just be my immediate family members và in-laws, & the rest of my aunts, uncles và cousins would probably have sầu a Zoom dinner with us. We usually attover Christmas Mass in the morning, but this year with the restrictions, it will have sầu to lớn be online too.
We love Christmas at home và even more so now with all the kids. There’s so much going on at home page and outside during the lead up lớn Christmas. The mood is so festive sầu & joyous – even playing Christmas songs daily at trang chính makes it such a heartwarming & happy time.
This Christmas season has been truly special as I was able to lớn reunite with family near & far. I had taken for granted that I could meet my loved ones whenever I wanted prior khổng lồ the pandemic, and it was agonising to lớn not see them for so long. When the Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) opened, I dropped everything and made it my priority khổng lồ spkết thúc as much time with them.
It has been two years since I saw my father. I travelled khổng lồ the US with my daughter Aiyamãng cầu and my father flew in from Sri Lanka. Together, we met my sister, aunts, uncles & many of my extended family members & we were able to lớn celebrate Thanksgiving, belated birthdays as well as do simple activities from toasting marshmallows at the fire pit, playing pool lớn simply enjoying the autumn colours.
My daughter and I then met my husb& and son in Italy. We spent two weeks there, where we drove from the Dolomites then on lớn Venice, Tuscany & Florence. We plan to spover Christmas Day with Kevin’s family in Singapore. We are moving lớn a new home early next year và in the interyên ổn, we are staying with my parents-in-law so it will be very meaningful to be spending Christmas under the same roof.
I’ve sầu always loved Christmas; its spiritual significance, along with the focus on family. With VTL travel possible this year, my daughter Bee, who just finished Secondary 1, và I visited family và friends in the US. As we all struggle to lớn “live” with COVID-19, our journey had particular meaning.
A long-time bucket-menu of mine for Christmas is visiting North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate, America’s largest trang chủ, famous for its over 100 decorated Christmas trees, 10,000 ornaments, and 100,000 twinkling lights. Along with my parents, we explored the late 19th-century mansion built by George Vanderbilt. Then, we drove sầu khổng lồ my hometown of Rocky Mount, where my parents still live sầu, và my daughter Hilton visited from Columbia University for a too-short weekend. The highlight: Creating gingerbread cookies! On the way home page to Singapore, we stopped in Milan (Bee’s first visit) lớn uncover và appreciate the city’s history, churches, food & fashion.
Once home, I spent three days decorating our trees. On Christmas morning, my husband Jyên, Bee, Hilton và I will wake early to lớn find Santa’s gifts. We’ll open a few, pause for panettone, và give thanks for our blessings, knowing those who gather with us around the tree are far more important than what’s inside the presents. Our Christmas feast will be at Les Amis, amuốn the world’s finest restaurants, khổng lồ celebrate life.
I am forever grateful for the adventures I shared with Bee, the ability to visit my parents and having my daughters & husbvà with me for Christmas at trang chủ in Singapore. Counting my blessings every single day!
SHIREENA SHROFF MANCHHARAM
My husb& Ashish, my two kids Lara, Arian và I made a trip to London. It has truly been magical khổng lồ leave Singapore & immerse ourselves in the Christmas spirit here. We have been to lớn Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, went shopping down Bond Street, admiring the beautiful buildings all lit up with sparkling lights và decorations, exploring Christmas markets, enjoying shows & visiting the theatre – và the menu goes on!
It has been such a wonderful mental break to finally relax và not worry constantly about restrictions và have this time to lớn bond và connect with our children. We have sầu caught up with friends & family whom we have sầu not seen for two years and it feels so exciting to be going back inkhổng lồ theatres, dining in restaurants and feeling the energy of people all around us.
For the family, the Christmas season always holds a special place in our hearts. As COVID-19 continues khổng lồ sweep across the globe necessitating the requirement of safe distancing, it is the perfect time to lớn huddle together as a family with deeper reflection on the true meaning of Christmas.
My husband Adrian & I plan to have our traditional homemade Christmas spread with our son, Bertrvà, roasting the Christmas turkey, which is a family favourite. All the other children, Melissa, Alvin and Desiree will create other dishes such as desserts và drinks.
Christmas will be dull without carols so this year, we plan to entertain ourselves with tuy vậy và dance at trang chính and especially spkết thúc precious time with our 94-year old dad, Mark, who is residing with us. Instead of attending Midnight Mass, we will likely participate virtually.
Christmas is also a time of nostalgia & thanksgiving as we express our heartfelt thanks & appreciation to dear colleagues, friends and relatives either through text greetings, phone calls or gifts.Ultimately, the magic of Christmas is truly about faith và hope as it is about the sharing of love and kindness that carries us through times of crises. We would lượt thích to lớn wish everyone a joyous Christmas filled with blessings of a loving family, peace và good health.