Christmas spirit all around: How a Tiong Bahru resident inspired neighbours' festive decors

Some residents in Tiong Bahru are feeling the Christmas spirit and they’re all about showing it to the public.

Multiple households in Tiong Bahru now have the exteriors of their homes decorated with yuletide spirit, 8World reported today (Dec 24).

Some have chosen iconic festive-themed decors such as mistletoes, pine cones and ribbons, while others have opted to use stickers of Christmas socks and Santa Claus stickers to adorn their homes.

And while passers-by can now appreciate the jolly atmosphere in the neighbourhood, none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for the initiative of one Tiong Bahru resident.

Martin Williams, 55, a permanent resident of Singapore for 13 years and counting, spoke with 8World reporters and explained his decision.

He had visited his sister in the United Kingdom last year who informed him that about 10 per cent of the residents in her neighbourhood were participating in a collective effort to decorate for Christmas.

Taking inspiration from this, Williams felt Tiong Bahru was lively enough to attempt a campaign similar to what he saw in the UK — so he set out to bring cheer to his neighbourhood this year.

Beginning in October, he designed posters to indicate areas for participation, specifically Tiong Bahru Road, Kim Pong Road, Chay Yan Street, Guan Chuan Street and Sit Wah Road.

He then uploaded these posters to a Facebook community page to rally residents to join.


“Some people already decorate their windows anyway… it feels like we’re doing something together,” Williams said to reporters.

By end-October, about 20 residents expressed interest in participating, while many others said they would simply enjoy strolling through the area.

Williams completed his decorations on Tuesday (Dec 20) and confirmed that some passers-by had stopped to snap pictures of his decorations.

Spreading festive cheer

Aside from Williams, his neighbour, Jil, also participated and spoke to 8World about her experience.

Originally from the Philippines, Jil has lived in Singapore for 15 years.

Although she was worried that Williams’ initiative might be too daunting for most, she was glad to see many others taking part.

Jil spent approximately $100 on her decorations, she said.


Pedro from Ecuador and Charlotte from France also participated in Williams’ Christmas decoration campaign.

Said Pedro: “This Christmas, we’re all away from family, so we wanted to decorate [our homes] with the Christmas spirit and also participate in community activities here… this is a great opportunity.”

Williams had originally wanted to hold a get-together with participants, but unfortunately contracted Covid-19 and had to cancel plans.

“I’m hoping after Christmas we’ll be able to get together, maybe over wine, and get to know each other more,” Williams said, adding that people from many backgrounds have opted to take part in this decorating event.

These Christmas decorations will be displayed until Jan 5 next year.

ALSO READ: Deck the halls: Residents in Woodlands and Yio Chu Kang spruce up neighbourhoods for Christmas


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