December is always
a special month for me. I love the holiday cheer, of course. But I love the wet weather more. Nothing soothes me more than the drumming of rain against my windows. I even enjoy a good lightning parade – although these days, I’m more likely to be huddling on my sofa with my three frightened kids than standing at my window gawking as the lightning streaks across the sky.
Then, there are the birthdays. December is full of them – two close friends, an aunt, a niece and a brother-in-law. Not to mention, my own, and that of my eldest daughter Claire, whose New Year’s Eve birthday rounds up the entire year perfectly.
That’s more than enough special occasions to keep anyone busy. Add to them the year-end festivities and the prep to do beforehand, and I am one frazzled woman. Sure, it’s a busy time, and I’m always more short-tempered because of it. And truth be told, some of it – jostling with the crowds, the cab queues – is just nasty.
But I remind myself that the season is all about relationships. And that all the effort I’m putting into finding the perfect gift, buying the best ingredients, cooking the tastiest dishes and looking my best, will show the people I’m spending the season with that they’re worth the stress.
This December, the Simply Her team wanted to bring joy back to the season. The stress doesn’t have to turn you into Scrooge. And with our smart tricks and shortcuts, you’ll be sailing through the festivities.
Turn to page 192 for our holiday prep guide, with the most wonderful ideas for getting away with not wrapping a present, not buying a gift (get a gift card instead), and even, not cooking (all that much). Then, read how other women bond with their loved ones and the meaningful gifts they’ve given and received (pg 72).
Don’t miss our interview with actress Tan Kheng Hua and her daughter Lim Shi-An (pg 88). I’m in awe at the respect and love this mum-daughter pair have for each other – as well as Kheng Hua’s unorthodox parenting strategies (no bedtime for Shi-An!). I’m trying out a few on my kids.
Other stories not to miss: On page 182, take our eating plan for navigating the many gatherings you’ll be going to, so you don’t put on weight; on page 46, glam up with limited-edition makeup palettes (I love the looks!), and for families, on page 222, we have a 31-day calendar of activities you can do with your kids (many are free, too). From the Simply Her team and myself – happy holidays!
PENELOPE CHAN, EDITOR