Planning the year’s Christmas decorations starts early at this East Coast apartment. This Christmas home belongs to CAROLINE SYDNESS, a mother of six! We chat about her life here, and what she enjoys most about the festive season.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your Singapore journey so far.
My parents are from the USA and Sri Lanka. I’ve lived in Singapore most of my life, but also travelled extensively and lived for periods in America and Germany. I was a Supermodel of the World/ Singapore 1993, travelling to most parts of the world; I wore a $1.4-million wedding gown and represented Singapore at the F1 Grand Prix Ball. Today, I’m a mother of six kids: five boys (twins aged 23, a 13-year-old, and another set of twins aged 10) and a daughter (20) – I’ve just become a grandmother, too, to a lovely baby girl, Gianna. I also have one gorgeous Cavapoo fur baby, Curley Wurly. My husband is Norwegian, and has lived in Singapore and been part of the expat community here for 20 years.
Where have you lived in Singapore?
Many places, from Sophia Road to Bedok, Telok Kurau and Yishun. Now we’re back on the East Coast (Lagoon View) where I have also lived in numerous places previously. Love it here
Tell us more about your home.
It’s clean, comfortable and well designed, and filled with warmness and peace. It has a fantastic balcony, too, and is only five minutes from East Coast Park.
What are three of your favourite items in the house?
My oven, my computer and my karaoke system!
Your home looks incredibly festive! Tell us more about your decorating for Christmas.
I have always paid very close attention to Christmas, maybe because I’m a Christmas child, born on 26 December. I’ll usually start planning around April to ensure I cover my creative ideas for all areas for decoration. I start with a design, then comes sourcing, placement and a final inspection to perfect things and ensure I’ve achieved my expectations.
Christmas trees: are you in the real or fake camp and why?
I have been in the real Christmas tree camp previously, but with the quality of artificial trees having improved tremendously I’m now more into utilising the artificial ones since one of my sons has asthma and it’s best for our family.
I also recently brought my dreams to reality and established my own decorating and event planning company, Twinkle Jingle Services, which offers Christmas Tree packages with premium imported decorations.
What do you love about Christmas?
Christmas gives me a feeling of joy and peace, and of being grateful for all that life has taught me in the year and growing from it – also being thankful for what life has to offer and working hard with God to achieve your dreams. Believing is the key.
I also love the vibe and atmosphere around Singapore, the music, decorations, lights, shopping, eating all the best cakes and other goodies. Christmas officially begins for us after a midnight or early morning mass on 24 December.
What would be your ideal Christmas?
A peaceful family time without too much stress, soaking in the festive atmosphere having worked long and hard to prepare everything.
Do you follow any special traditions?
Family gatherings in our Christmas decorated home have been a tradition since I was very young, and I love them. Christmas carols and food are a must, too, including Eurasian and Norwegian delicacies.
Who do you usually spend Christmas Day with, and where?
It’s usually spent at home, opening presents in the morning with excited children, followed by a sumptuous meal with all the tantalising smells filling the house.
Favourite thing about Singapore and the region?
Singapore is well organised with a diverse culture; you can take part in numerous festivities linked to many religions. The region has so many countries and historical places to explore, all within a few hours’ flight. I also love the food and the Singlish language.
Home Furniture & Decoration
Bed Bath N’ Table | bedbathntable.com.sg
Picket & Rail | picketandrail.com
Scanteak | scanteak.com
Wihardja Furniture Singapore | wihardja.com.sg
Twinkle Jingle Services | twinklejingle.net
Canossa Catholic Primary School canossacatholicpri.moe.edu.sg
Doctors & Dentists
Dr Anita’s Kids Clinic | healthcare.com.sg/item/dr-anitas-kids-clinic
Tanglin Medical Clinic | tanglinmedicalclinic.com
Smile Inc. | smileinc.com.sg
Hair & Fashion
David Gan @ Passion Hair Salon | fb.com/passionhairsalonsingapore
Massimo Dutti | massimodutti.com
Marks & Spencer | marksandspencer.com/sg
Island Shop | islandshop.com.sg
REDValentino | redvalentino.com/sg
Club 21 | club21.com
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf | coffeebean.com.sg
Starbucks | starbucks.com.sg
Airlines & Hotels
Singapore Airlines | singaporeair.com
Emirates | emirates.com
Four Seasons Hotel | fourseasons.com/singapore
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore | ritzcarlton.com
Things to Do in Singapore
“I like to do 8km walks and cycle once a week at East Coast Park – after the revamp there, the atmosphere is fantastic and relaxing.”
This article first appeared in the December 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
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