What do holidays really mean? Yes, it is a day off work, but for a reason; it is to remember something of utmost importance.
There is no snow in sunny Singapore. Yet the most obvious sign to remind people Christmas is round the corner is usually put up by retailers. You can’t miss them especially during the year end school holidays and if you have children.
During the Yuletide season, Singapore’s Orchard Road is all decked out in what is now a tradition for shopping malls to encourage shoppers to spend more at their malls. Shopping centers outside Singapore’s shopping belt have also caught on to this custom of festive decorations and display.
Although designed to attract people to patronize their shopping malls, these displays are most enjoyed by families with children.
Shopping malls with a bigger budget to pull in the crowd, they will hold a show for the children.
Naturally such performances for children are strategically located within metres of a toy fair as well – if not in the center of it all.
Conspicuous consumption aside, people are often reminded about the meaning and spirit of Christmas by fairs organised to support those in need. While not intended to put a damper on the holiday season, such outreaches are visible; and perhaps, poignant.
For me this is a good way to remind people that Christmas is not about materialism. It’s about remembering the golden rule; loving your neighbour and appreciating your loved ones.