We just had one of our busiest weekends in recent memory.
The weekend kicked off with a really wonderful event…Toys for Tots, co-hosted by the US Marine Corps and the American Association of Singapore. Back home, the Marine Corps partners with the malls and usually have drop off boxes in many of my local malls, which is how I’ve always interacted with the charity. I’ve never had the opportunity to attend an event related to the charity, but to be fair, I’m not sure that before I had Elanor and Rhiannon I would have attended as opposed to just dropping off a toy in the mall’s box.
The event was held at the Mandarin Orchard, a hotel/mall I’ve walked past but never been in before. The toy donation boxes were by the entrance to the ballroom, and Ellie was excited to put the toys in, as we’d explained the charity as giving toys to little girls and boys who don’t have many toys, and she was eager for them to get their toys. We donated two sets of puzzles, some legos, and a toy electric piano (so that each family member had donated a toy).
We entered the ballroom, and Ellie was immediately drawn to the craft table hosted by Stamford American International School where she decorated a Christmas Tree shaped ornament with glitter glue.
But even the discovery of glitter glue couldn’t compare to the next two activity stations–a cookie decorating station and a cupcake decorating station.
We took a break from crafts to meet a Marine. Ellie was fascinated by his uniform (“so pretty!”). Marines are stationed in Singapore to guard the Embassy, and when this Marine was introducing the event a little later, he noted that they don’t get many chances to leave the Embassy in uniform.
Next we were treated to some music by members of the Singapore American School Choir (not to be confused with the previously mentioned Stamford American International School). I have to say that I was in various choirs at at least three different schools between grades 6 and 12 and the talent level here blew all of my choirs out of the water. They did several numbers ranging from Silent Night to their final number of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” which introduced a very important guest–Santa Claus!
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, sung by the SAS choir
We asked Ellie, repeatedly, if she wanted to go meet Santa. “I don’t want!” was Elanor’s emphatic response. We mentioned that Rhiannon wanted to meet Santa, and would Ellie go if Rhiannon and Mommy went up, too? “I don’t want!”
Ellie has actually wanted nothing to do with Santa in person for over a year. She’s usually very shy around men, so I was pretty shocked that she went right to the Marine and let him hug her. Usually the only men that she’s comfortable talking to/interacting with are her dad, her grandfather, the taxi uncles and the uncles at McDonalds and the chicken rice shop across the street. So after double and triple checking that she was SURE she didn’t want to meet Santa, we dropped it and let her do another christmas ornament craft.
Meanwhile, I wanted to get Rhiannon’s picture with Santa, so I took her up to meet him after. Prior to this she’d been sound asleep in her car seat. She was the youngest baby at the event (all the others were at least walking), so there was a lot of cooing over her in line and while we waited for our picture. She alternated between sleeping and staring at people.
After our Santa visit, we didn’t stay much longer…and although there was technically an hour more, most of the families with younger kids were leaving. We’d done all the crafts, gotten our temp tattoo, and Rhiannon had met Santa. There wasn’t much left to do. But I do have a few more photos of the event.
Wonderful event, wonderful charity. Can’t wait to go again next year…maybe both girls will be willing to sit with Santa?