There’s always an imperceptible shift towards a joyful mood when December rolls around – a slight chill in the air, the first strains of Christmas carols you hear over the sound system in shopping malls, and of course, the appearance of twinkling Christmas lights dotting the facades of buildings.
This year, the mood is perhaps a tad more subdued. But even if we are not able to celebrate Christmas the way we used to in past years, there’s no reason to not find joy in the little things that come our way. After all, you made it through 2020, didn’t you?
Find joy in: Christmas lights and decorations
Did you know that the Christmas tree originated all the way from 16th century West Germany and only became widely popularised in parts of Europe and Asia in the 19th Century? They had vastly different looks as well – the Victorian tree popular in mid-19th century England was often decorated with toys and small gifts, candles, candies and other knick-knacks, while Christmas trees in Japan and China in the 19th and 20th centuries had intricate paper designs as decorations.
Today, the look of the Christmas tree follows a more standard template, but there’s still nothing quite like the sight of a fully decked out Christmas tree to immediately put you in the mood for some merry-making. If space and budget allow for it, beautiful live trees are aplenty at the nurseries that line Thomson Road, all ready for your decorating. Alternatively, IKEA and Cold Storage are good places to grab a fake-but-still-festive tree.
Otherwise, you can always just take a moment to walk around and appreciate the views of your immediate surroundings – like that of your office building or your neighbourhood. You might just be surprised what you will notice when you are not swept up in the rush of life.
Find joy in: Having a meal with loved ones
If there’s one thing the year-end festive season is for, is to finally have time for long meals over flowing conversations with your friends and family. And if you can do so over good food – even better.
Make a date for some excellent seafood dishes at NUDE Seafood (#01-23, call 8726 1576 for reservations) – seafood dishes here are the obvious highlights, but its toothsome binchotan-grilled meats are nothing to be sniffed at either. Book early for Christmas and you’ll have a hearty feast to look forward to all month. If time does not permit, grab a quick but delicious bite together at Waa Cow! (#01-09, call 9851 1552 for reservations), whose Flame-Torched Wagyu Beef Bowl and Mentaiko Scallops are extremely popular options.
Waa Cow! (#01-09)
If you are up for a splurge, book early for Wakanui’s festive menu (#04-02, call 𝟔𝟑𝟖𝟒 𝟐𝟔𝟔𝟓 for reservations) which promises to take your palate on an epicurean trip to Japan. Think indulgent items like Kagoshima A5 wagyu, chargrilled Japanese cod and spring lamb half rack – what better way to toast to the end of the year? There’s even a takeaway menu featuring hale and hearty items like roasted whole chicken and spring lamb full rack if you would rather celebrate at home.
Just as indulgent are the festive offerings at The Spot (#01-26/27, call 6836 5994 for reservations). Choose between the Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day Brunch – the former is a multi-course feast showcasing the best of The Spot’s contemporary European cuisine, while the latter properly pampers with a smogasboard of meat and seafood dishes for sharing, wining and dining into the late hours of the afternoon.
Find joy in: Shopping for friends and family
If you have time for a deep dive into the history of why people give each other gifts during Christmas, there is a long article here that does just that. Otherwise, we’d wager on it simply being an act that brings joy for both the giver and receiver alike.
And for gifts that you can never really go wrong with, opt for some sweet treats befitting of the season of feasting. Honey House (#B2-22) offers a whole range of honey-based products and treats like candies and honey pots, all thoughtfully wrapped and packaged and ready to be gifted. The must-buy for any sweet-toothed friend of yours: the soft and chewy Honey Waffles, which will go perfect with a hot cup of tea. BRU Infusions’ (#B2-21) limited edition blackcurrant-flavoured specials and flowery fruity detox are also hot favourites. Gifting for a house party? Make sure you go well-equipped with Joe & Dough’s (#B2-12) luxurious Valrhona Raspberry Yule Log that will help end the night on a delectable note.
Find joy in: Having a quiet drink yourself at home
Sometimes, the best gift you can give yourself is some precious me-time and space to recalibrate, especially if the year has been extra challenging. Set aside a weekend for yourself, arm yourself with a good book or put on Netflix, and get cosy with a drink or two. Get stocked up at 1855 The Bottle Shop (#01-24/25) or Bottles & Bottles (#B2-20). If you are feeling fancy, try this Toasted S’mores Martini recipe, which requires just vodka, chocolate liqueur and a toasted marshmallow. We are feeling the Christmas mood already.