Remember how we said our Christmas Even plans got scuttled because of some ill-timed fevers? It was Kyle and his sister who weren’t feeling well. By a few days after Christmas they were back to 100% strength so we went for a rescheduled Christmas dinner over at their place.
Was it worth the wait? The kids sure seemed to think so:
Little Kara is getting so big!
We ate like kings and queens, of course:
And we posed for pictures:
A very nice afternoon and evening. At the end of it, Bryan drove us home in his convertible:
Nyan loves it with the top down:
Singapore at night:
Singapore at night, with the occasional Christmas light thrown in:
2021 brought us another tropical Christmas. In normal times we would of course do a family vacation around the holidays, but with Covid still floating around, December 2021 was still not a normal time. So, we stayed home and made the most of things.
Gardens by the Bay is always lovely at Christmas time:
At school, Nyan’s class did a video retelling of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas:
Christmas morning, of course, brought presents to open.
Followed by a delicious full-course breakfast.
Maybe it wasn’t the most thrilling Christmas ever, since we were stuck on our little island, but it sure wasn’t bad!
We’ve lived in Singapore for nearly seven years now, and every year except one, we’ve celebrated Christmas right here in the tropical warmth. 2020 was no different, except we didn’t get to do our usual multi-day beach vacation either before or after the 25th, thanks to ongoing pandemic travel restrictions. Still, we made the most of the season!
Singapore got all dolled up, like it always does. A few random trees from around town:
We had a nice little holiday corner at home too:
Nyan turned the tree into a little play area over the course of the month.
On the big day itself, we opened presents, of course. Nyan got lots of books, which he immediately devoured, and some new pajamas , which he immediately turned into a hat.
We saved the best for last: A Nintendo Switch! “My prayers have been answered,” said the very happy young man.
We had a lazy rest of the day, including a swim and a movie matinee. The next day we spent at the home of Jayden and his family. Hilarity and hijinx ensued.
There’s never a White Christmas in Singapore, of course, but we still manage to make the most of the festive season.
We got together with Jayden and his family, and another family, for a Christmas dinner and gift-exchange for the kiddos.
It ended up as a sleepover for our hero, of course.
We also enjoyed the various holiday decorations around town:
On Christmas Day itself, we went over to Kyle’s house for a lovely dinner with his family, and other friends. The kids had a blast with various playtimes:
There was a newborn baby there, which Mommy had a blast with:
We opened presents on Christmas morning, of course. But we somehow managed to not take any pictures during the unwrapping! Oops. Here are some photos of the tree and various gifts, before and after opening:
And some videos of Nyan opening other presents: Grandma and Grandpa like to send over a big box full of presents for Nyan to open, one per day, every day in December. It becomes a fun morning tradition: bound out of bed and head to the tree to open that day’s pressie. Here are a few examples:
And finally, a couple of lousy-ish videos of Nyan’s class performing at the school holiday show. They did a song about “Santa’s getting fit for Christmas.” You can see Nyan near the front, off to the right.
Every Christmas, one of our favorite local parks — Gardens by the Bay — puts on a holiday extravaganza. There’s a skating rink, there are Christmas decorations, there’s caroling, there’s even fake snow! We went a few years back — see here — and this year made a return. It was great.
We took lots of family selfies:
We enjoyed a local school choir’s performance:
And let’s not forget about the (fake) snow.
Gardens by the Bay is lovely any time of year, any time of day.
And finally, our goofy boy being a goofy boy in front of one of the decorations.
We spent the second half of December in Iowa, but that meant we spent the first half in Singapore, wrapping up school and generally getting into the holiday spirit. Grandma and Grandpa did their part to help us with the holiday spirit by sending a box full of little presents for Nyan to open, one each day in December leading up to Christmas Day itself. Yes, it’s blatant spoiling of their grandson, but what can you do? They like it, Nyan likes it. Here’s some of the fun:
He really liked this skeleton:
This is a Lego-esque Iowa Hawkeye thing:
Getting super excited about a Darth Vader toy:
There was more to December than just presents, though. Not much, but some. Like this scene of Nyan and Mommy building a big Lego shark-vehicle thing:
Fnally, just a smattering of random shots from the month:
Stay tuned to upcoming blog posts for a whole lot of pictures from Iowa. And snow.
We don’t get a white Christmas in Singapore – surely it has never, ever snowed here; cannot imagine a scenario in which that would be remotely possible – but given that (a) Singapore was a British colony for many years and (b) Singapore is all about consumerism, Christmas is a fairly big deal here. It certainly is around our house, thanks to a certain six-year-old boy.
One of the highlights of each November for Nyan is helping to decorate our fake Christmas tree. We’ve had it for three or four years now; each year, Daddy thinks briefly about replacing it, but then he thinks, ‘Why bother? It’s still in fine enough shape, and it does the job.’ This year, Nyan did almost all of the ornament-hanging himself.
As mentioned, Singapore gets really into Christmas. Here are some shots of how the commercial buildings do it.
Expect more photos and videos regarding Christmas coming very soon!
Nyan wanted to be a knight for Halloween this year, just like last year. In fact he used the same basic parts that Mommy did such a great job making by hand last year. She juiced it up this year with a hand-painted shield and other bits, and we got him a longsword to replace the short sword and dagger he had last year.
People at the apartment complex organized a massive party in the function room down by the pool, with snacks and games. It was crowded and fun:
There was also a ‘haunted house’ – really just a dark room with scary effects. No pictures or videos; our hero, bless his heart, was scared to death and started crying a bit. He got over it soon enough though.
Rather than doing house-by-house trick-or-treat like last year, they had volunteers standing at various places around the complex, handing out candies. Here’s Nyan and Jayden, getting ready to go:
And hanging out with a mummy. They weren’t especially scared:
Maybe Nyan’s favorite part of the whole night was eating a blue lollipop and then surveying the damage:
It was, of course, not a White Christmas in Singapore this year. Or any year. But we still did a good job getting into the holiday spirit. Let’s take a look:
Here’s Nyan and Mommy, getting our little Christmas tree ready, and doing other things to get into the festive spirit:
And a few pieces of artwork that Nyan made (paintings, mostly) in the weeks leading up to Dec. 25:
Grandma and Grandpa, in their never-ending quest to spoil their grandson, had sent over a box full of 24 little presents — one for Nyan to open each morning in December. Here’s just a few of the moments when he was unwrapping.
On Christmas Eve, an aunt was in town, so we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant downtown. And look who stopped by our table!
Finally: the big day. Christmas morning! Daddy asked Nyan to wait til Daddy could get a cup of coffee. It was hard, but Nyan managed to wait:
And then: Attack the presents! He opened them all in a matter of minutes, it seemed. But still managed to play with, and model, some of them
We had a plane to Thailand to catch later in the day. But first: Christmas dinner with Kyle and his family. Here’s Nyan, waiting for the taxi:
Kyle and Nyan played while the food was being prepared. And what a spread! Delicious.
Afterwards, we hung out for a while, playing with toys – including the adults, who played with the virtual reality video game. The kids did too. Fun, if a little silly:
And then….off to Thailand! But we’ll save that for upcoming posts.