COMMUNITY – Smells like Christmas

The Skyve Wine Bistro (Singapore) was dressed like a classroom for delinquents with padded benches and a (drinking) bar for hopeless cases. The Body Shop staff looked like they’d dug up their school uniforms (but with manicured nails, they too looked delinquent), and Linda the MC could have passed off for the School of Rock principal, both stern and comic in her glasses.

To make matters more confusing, the scents of cranberry and spices, carols and festive lights added to the feeling we’d walked into a Christmas tableau in mid-October, and Baby Jesus would soon make an appearance along with a lamb or two.

Yes, it is that time of the year when hoteliers and retailers compete for media attention to publicise their wares. And how I love the whole shebang!

It’s my favourite season when the shopping district turns into fairyland and we are done with appraisals (not yet, but soon-soon). In Singapore, the tropical heat wavers, surrendering to stormy weather but we know it will soon be over and January will shine bright and red in preparation for the Chinese New Year. So, let’s savour this time of fake snow and Asian boy Santas. As they say, it’s the feeling that counts.


Of course, the thought counts most, so I do like how The Body Shop assuages the guilt of spending money on those who have everything they need. The Body Shop supports Community Fair Trade, buying from small farmers of the Third World – loofahs from Honduras; cocoa butter from Ghana; paper products from Nepal; soapstone oil burners from North India; and wooden massagers, accessories and cosmetics bags from South India.


When we buy something from their Christmas range, our purchase contributes towards the School Project – £200,000 will go towards building five schools – one each in the countries mentioned. We take education for granted whereas going to school is an opportunity prized in many parts of the world.

What’s one school you might think when so many more are needed? I think every bit counts and in a snowballing effect, every child educated will in some way, return something to their homeland.


Best of all, you get something pretty and practical, exclusive to the Christmas season and that will look really good under the tree. And if you wear make-up which I don’t, I hear their smoky eye palette and BB cream glide right on.



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