11 December 2018, by Jeremy Ratnam
Ah… December! My favourite month of the year.
Well that’s because I first met my wife in December. The date, Tuesday, 17 December 2002, a day I will remember for the rest of my life. (Read my bio)
With December comes Christmas, and really, Christmas is for kids. And that’s why in the Ratnam household, Christmas is a big deal!
Christmas Comes Early
Every year since we were married, my wife and I would always put up the Christmas Tree way before any of our relatives (or even orchard Road). We will then post up the photo of the tree on social media.
In doing so, we have also started the tradition of a Christmas Countdown. Till today, the RatnamKiDS all join in the fun when the countdown officially starts on September 16 each year, when it is 100 days to Christmas.
So with a 100 days to Christmas, we start our annual Christmas shopping, preparations, you name it… even heading to Orchard Road and take a sneak peek on what the street decorations will be like for the year.
And during this period, some of our favourite departmental stores have huge discounts.
For instance a boy’s blazer could go for $89 at the start of the year, but by the time it gets to September, that same blazer can go for as low $15!!! What a steal. And that’s exactly what we got our two boys this year.
Psst…you could even make use of Singapore’s Great Singapore Sale to do your Christmas shopping!
For the girls – similar scenario, we would purchase their shoes very early, and making sure that they are not tight fitting, because it would still be several months to Christmas.
It’s also a tradition in the Ratnam’s Household to have a Christmas Party, known as ‘The Annual J&J Christmas Party’, and this year, we might have just over-invited!
Then again, as with previous years, confirmed guests will pull out at the last minute citing other parties they are stuck at, or other merry-making reasons, and we completely understand.
For the ‘The Annual J&J Christmas Party’, my wife will bake and cook a couple of dishes, and this year she’s preparing the mother of all shepard’s pies… I can’t wait!
Last year, she did a smaller version and it was gone within minutes, so yes, this years’ shepard’s pie has to be a little larger.
Other traditional delicacies my wife preps before Christmas Eve, include pineapple tarts, chocolate chip cookies and her favourite, fruit cocktail jelly.
If you don’t want to tire your wife with most of the cooking; you could explore doing a potluck so that the cooking task is spread out.
Majority of the food at the annual party is catered so we need not worry about the bulk of the food. If you don’t have a specific caterer that you patronise, look around for reputable catering companies that offer good deals!
The Ratnam KiDS will typically expect a gift or two from Santa, mummy or daddy on Christmas Eve or when they first wake up on Christmas morning.
So this year, I did inform my eldest, Nicole to collate what her siblings wanted for Christmas and texted it (accompanied with picture) to daddy, as she’s the only child in the family with a mobile phone.
Now that I have all the gift ideas that Nicole, Kevin, Junior and Princess Danielle want for Christmas, it makes hunting down for their perfect gift so much easier.
And when looking out for gifts for kids, always make sure there’s a plan B or even a plan C. Ask your child, besides that one gift that he or she likes, for an alternative present; so that “Santa’s” headache is lessen!
Christmas in the Ratnam’s household is pretty much a big deal, and we take special care in every detail from the house decoration, to Christmas presents, the church service on Christmas-eve, the Christmas food, and even on Christmas day, when we visit our parents and relatives and friends.
And since we are a family of six, ever since last year, we have decided to expand that number, including my sister and her family and a couple of relatives to accompany us visiting family and friends.
So the decision was made last year to get a 13- to 14-seater vehicle, and a dedicated driver to get us to all the houses we would be visiting on Christmas Day.
This way, instead of taking two separate taxis, we can all fit into a huge vehicle with ease and comfort and with room for more people.
This year, my wife, scouted around for a 20-seater and we got a GREAT deal!
Well, looks like we are all ready! This year’s Christmas is going to be a far bigger affair for the Ratnams at home, hosting and visiting on Christmas Day!
So from all of us here at The Ratnams, we wanna wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!