Day 10 - How Christmas in Singapore Feels Fake... And Real

One year I went to visit my family in Malaysia during winter, and it was my first time having a tropical Christmas. 

My mom has a huge family in Malaysia. She is one of eight siblings, and each of them have two to five kids. It is like a jungle filled with cousins. 

Their Christmas tradition is to go together to Singapore to shop and walk around Orchard Road until the Christmas countdown. Orchard Road is this fancy commercial street in southern Singapore that is equivalent to the Bloor-Yorkville area in Toronto or Fifth Avenue in New York.

I have never had a public countdown for Christmas, so this sounded bizarre, yet exciting.

Orchard Road was Christmas-splattered. Lights hung from anywhere and everywhere. Gigantic installations that advertised fancy luxurious stores were either in front of the stores themselves, or on the traffic islands in the roads.

It was 11:59PM and we were all standing and waiting for Christmas to come. My cousins had beers in their hands, my uncle had ice cream sandwiches to hand out (it was a yearly tradition) and people spilled into the streets to wait.

"FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. ONE!" Everyone was cheering, camera flashes were twinkling and people were shooting white Silly String into the air. It was kind of snowing!

In that one moment, I ignored all my irritating mosquito bites, the suffocating crowds, the overwhelming sweat... and I just stood there smiling.

- Michelle Wu, Graphic Designer

Precious memories are worth celebrating. Let us not forget those with Alzheimer's or other dementias who suffer from a loss of memory. For more information, visit the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Have you spent Christmas abroad? Let us know by commenting below!

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