GETTING TO KNOW… People who add a sparkle to the season

Meet the unsung heroes who strive to ensure your Christmas goes with a bang!

Ho Ho Ho, you can almost smell Christmas in the air as you sip your Toffee Nut latte, see it all around you, thanks to dazzling light displays, and feel the excitement while sauntering through shopping centres playing carols non-stop.

Before you get sucked into the mad rush of getting gifts and planning big bashes, consider the individuals who bring joy to the world (and you) during this magical season, thanks to their tireless contributions. From dishing up delectable dinners and tickling your funny bone to instilling a sense of service, we salute the shining stars who are finessing your festivities.


Deck the hols…

Nicole Foo, 33, assistant vice president of advertising and promotions at Changi Airport, is a member of its Christmas decorations team. Mum to a 10-month-old baby girl, Le Xuan, she is married to Kelvin Tan, 33, a senior airport manager.

“The best Christmas present I’ve ever received was a plush bear my dad bought for me when I was 7 years old. We didn’t have much money then, so the fact that he’d ‘splurged’ on this gift made it extra special. To this day, it remains one of my most treasured possessions.

I’ve been with the airport’s 13-member strong-Christmas team since 2007 – our tastes include deciding on decorations, planning promotions and organizing fun activities for our visitors. We’ve really outdone ourselves this year – there will be gigantic 11m-high pineapple house boasting a multi-sensory light-and-sound show complete with snowflakes, plus a bouncy castle, storytelling sessions with Santa and stilt walkers. It’s certainly going to be a mesmerizing and unforgettable Christmas for everyone who walks through our doors.

Working in an airport has definitely fed my wanderlust. In fact, I had grand plans to visit Helsinki, Finland, the hometown of Santa, last year, because of the festive significance and also because I love snow so much! However, my plans were quashed when I found out that I was pregnant. This means I can only start planning again once my little girl is a bit older – who knows, she might even be travelling with a sibling by then!”


Let it show! Let it show! Let it show!

Preschool educator and entertainer Mark De Silva, 36, puts on the child-centric ToyBox Christmas Show with his creative partner Reuben Tupaz. Dad to 9-month-old Mia, he is married to Maria, 32, a senior writer.

“The first time I held Mia in my arms, I was already thinking about what my first Christmas would be like with her. It’s without a doubt, my most favourite holiday and coming from a musical family, as always, involved lots of singing and dancing.

I still vividly remember the day I told my dad I wanted to learn to play the guitar. He was so excited, he restrung his old guitar which he’d used when he played in a band during his younger days, and gave it to me with a little chord book filled with golden oldies.

Just watching their big smiles as they dance and hearing their crazy laughter when we crack jokes is reason enough for us to go on.

Now that I’m a dad, I feel like my life has come full circle, because I can now leave the songs that I’ve written and composed as part of the ToyBox Christmas Show to Mia one day.

Our audience is between the ages of 1 and 6 and we interact with them through song, dance, and puppet shows. Just watching their big smiles as they dance and hearing their crazy laughter when we crack jokes is reason enough for us to go on. The best pay-off is when they smother us with loving hugs and enthusiastic high-fives.

When Mia is a little older, we plan to bake cookies together as a family during Christmas. I’m not sure how helpful I’ll be in the kitchen so maybe, I’ll serenade them with carols while they bake!”

Click through to meet two more Christmas cheer givers…