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Lighting up the Night with Festive Joy and Cheer

A distinct feeling of excitement filled the air as members and their families gathered in the lobby of the NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House (KRGH) on the evening of 3 December 2023. It was that magical time of the year once more, and the excitement was mounting for the Christmas Tree Light-Up and the festive activities that awaited.

The lobby had been transformed into a festive wonderland, decked out with glittering decorations and festive lights. The iconic 5.5m (18ft) Christmas tree towered over the crowd, splendidly adorned with an array of sparkling ornaments, from traditional gold baubles, twinkling fairy lights to delicate gold tinsel.

As the last rays of sunlight faded away, the master of ceremonies invited the children to come forward. NUSS President Mr Edward S Tay, members of the Management Committee and NUSS Chief Executive Officer, Ms Clara Tan also went onto the stage for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Anticipation filled the air as the countdown began, mounting to exclamations of delight and applause from the crowd at its culmination. The resplendent Christmas tree began to glow brilliantly in phases.

The lights – in the shape of stars – flared up majestically to gradually climb to the top and the reigning star blazed in its magnificence and crowning glory.

The four-year-old daughter of a member was charmed by the sights and festivities. “We don’t celebrate Christmas at home so this Light-up is ideal for her to experience the festive spirit and learn about this Christian festival”, her father explained.

For the children of another NUSS member, attending the Christmas Light-Up as a family was an annual tradition. “We come every year but the pandemic had interrupted this enjoyable ritual.”

Her children had an additional reason for attending—to witness their grandmother’s performance in the NUSS Choir. Before the light-up, about 30 choir members captivated 120 adults and children with classic Christmas carols.

The NUSS Choir delivered a flawless performance.

The audience also delved into the history of certain songs. A choir representative shared that Silent Night, composed approximately 250 years ago, has been a timeless carol sung in diverse settings—from town halls and public squares to churches and even on battlefields during the Christmas truce in the First World War.

As the lights twinkled in unison, the lobby became a beacon of festive joy and cheer. Laughter echoed as children lined up for a chance to meet Santa Claus. No Christmas event is complete without an appearance from good ol’ jolly Saint Nick and the joyous atmosphere was contagious, bringing smiles to the faces of young and old alike.

The children were thrilled when Santa Claus dropped in.

Throughout the evening, the Guild House continued to host a myriad of festive activities. Enhancing the theme of a Starry Christmas, small battery-operated candles were handed out to the audience to wave during the caroling and other activities.

“These candles are a very nice touch and much safer than conventional candles with their naked flames,” a member commented.

Another highlight of the evening was the Children’s Best-dressed Contest, where boys and girls took the stage to compete for the top prize.

The children eagerly competed for the title of best-dressed.

Super Santa won in the boys’ section, donned in Christmas-themed goggles and a green cape. The first prize in the girls’ category went to a 10-year-old wearing a shimmering skirt with twinkling star-shaped LED lights.

As the night unfolded, families gathered around the Christmas tree, capturing memories. With the event drawing to a close, children eagerly surrounded Santa Claus for a ‘gift raid,’ while many families headed to the restaurants at KRGH for quality family time over a delightful meal.

NUSS KRGH had not just lit up a dazzling Christmas tree; it had illuminated many hearts with the joyful spirit of Christmas.

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