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Wishing all my blog visitors a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday. It is not often that we get a three-day weekend as Christmas this year falls on a Sunday.

Tallest Christmas tree in South East Asia at S'pore Resort World 2011

Visiting friends in East Malaysia where the spirit of Christmas truly comes alive. The malls and supermarkets are packed with people and my favourite evergreen Christmas songs blaring away in the background…”Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer”, “Feliz Navidad”, “I am dreaming of a white Christmas”, “Silent night” and the iconic “Jingle Bells”.

Can’t help recalling the sound,sights and lights of London in December! The window dressings among the great departmental stores on Oxford St,Knightsbridge and Marble Arch were richly creative. Red,green and black interspersed with blue,white and yellow and flickering lights and warm lights everywhere, along the road,across the streets and on the buildings. Think of Jalan Masjid India the weekend before Hari Raya in Kuala Lumpur, the crowd in London is many,many times that.

Ever changing multi-colored lights at Mandarin Gallery, S'pore

S'pore city crowd at 2330hrs

Was in Singapore last week where Orchard Road was bathed in blue and white lights and Christmas is a most welcomed celebration. The vibrancy was palpable. Hotels,departmental stores- Takashimaya, Metro Jaya, Isetan; shopping complexes – Paragon,Far East Plaza ,Lucky Plaza; cafes and leisure centres were teeming with people late into the night. Now that is a real CITY! The Christmas ambiance is just amazing.

My most memorable Christmas was in Brussels, Belgium in 2005. Booked into a 5-star Windsor hotel right in the centre of the City and very near Grand Place on 24 Dec, I woke up on Christmas morning to the sound of church bells ringing merrily and oh, how beautifully cold it was! The colorful winter markets, the dancing lights gyrating to the techno-music in the city square were all magical and invigorating and by 3pm it was already dark and people walked shoulder to shoulder to keep warm. I really miss the festivities… and the indulgence.

Cakes galore!

Poinsettia in earthenware jars

Have been in a holiday mood ever since “flakes” of snow first fell on my blog…. thank you WordPress for making Christmas season celebratory.

And JOY TO THE WORLD!

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