Re-Inventing Christmas As A Time For Giving, The 21st Century Way


It has traditionally been a holiday to spend time with loved ones, to give them presents, and generally reflect on how the struggles and triumphs we experienced throughout the year have changed us for the better.

We spent our childhood Christmases with our families as we decorated trees, watched Christmas-themed movies (I’m pretty sure I’ve caught Home Alone every year since I was 4) and caught up with family we rarely saw.

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Giving Back The 21st Century Way

[caption id="attachment_19611" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Eco-friendly Christmas[/caption]

First, why not have a green Christmas by being eco-friendly?

Christmas is definitely the most magical time of the year, but it’s also one of the most wasteful. Just think of all the wrapping paper and cards you chuck each year! Switch things up by going green this festive season, and do your part for Mother Earth.

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For starters, try out these super simple sustainable Christmas hacks, like putting your gifts in a reusable tote, or making your very own recycled wrapping paper out of old packaging!

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Next, you can crowdfund, or give a micro-loan to help someone’s wish come true.

Today, technological advances have made it more convenient to give to the less fortunate, and giving back to society has never been easier.

Social enterprises like projects.

Better still, when repaid, you can choose to lend the money to someone else, making it a gift that truly keeps giving.

You can also play a part in the development of mind-blowing social innovations – like these bio-degradable mosquito traps to combat Zika, by funding them on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

[caption id="attachment_19614" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Socially Conscious Christmas Gift Guide [/caption]

Now, we all love Christmas, but it has a tendency to be a commercial affair and a celebration of consumerism (let’s face it, who doesn’t love an excuse to binge shop!).

Therefore, instead of getting run-of- the-mill hampers, why not do Christmas differently with quirky gifts that give back to communities in need.

For instance, when you buy Yellow Leaf Hammocks’ ridiculously comfortable hammocks, you’re empowering artisan weavers in Thailand, and improving their lives and livelihoods.

[caption id="attachment_19615" align="alignnone" width="1024"] cool gadgets like Luminaid’s colour-changing solar lanterns and TOMS’ Apple Watch straps.

For each one you buy, proceeds will go straight to communities in need.

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You can also make a statement by trying new, unique, and meaningful activities with your loved ones this Christmas.

Try cooking a meal for families in need, or round up your bill to the nearest $10 for a good cause at Timbre (Timbre will match your donations dollar-for- dollar, and the proceeds will go towards medical treatments for patients who cannot afford it).

There are so many simple and creative ways to give back that will not only let you create special memories with those closest to you, but also help to spread the Christmas cheer to the less fortunate.

[caption id="attachment_19617" align="alignnone" width="900"] Festive Eating To Festive Giving [/caption]

Did you know that you can even feast for a good cause? Have your feast and give back too, by indulging in yuletide feasting at restaurants that employ the marginalized.

For example, dine at restaurants that train ex-offenders in culinary skills to help them get their lives back on track. Soon Huat Dining House at Chinatown Point.

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So this Christmas, instead of struggling to find presents on the streets of Orchard Road (which, let’s admit is going to be crowded with other Christmas shoppers), why not take these options into consideration to make your Christmas an extra special one?

Asia for Good is reinventing the spirit of giving back this Christmas with their socially conscious gift guides and hacks for a merrier, more sustainable way to celebrate the festive season!

Asia For Good

[caption id="attachment_19619" align="alignnone" width="1024"] DBS Foundation[/caption]

The team at Asia For Good believes that consumers have the power to create positive change, and the good news is that socially conscious living is actually really easy!

You just have to continue doing the things you already love – like eating, shopping, and traveling, but this time, with companies that make a difference.

Their lifestyle-oriented stories on the Asia For Good website covers everything from cool social innovations, to socially-conscious restaurant reviews, so that you can live ethically and effortlessly.

What’s more, the website also features a regional directory of social enterprises to connect you with businesses (like cafes that hire ex-offenders, and companies that make eco-friendly bamboo tissues) that are giving back and creating a positive impact in society.

Visit to find out more.

Also Read: What If We Told You, You’ve Been Choosing Your Christmas Gifts Wrong All Along?

These Five Local Bars Feature LIVE Bands You Can Rock Out To After Work

What’s better than knocking back some drinks with friends on a Friday night? A live band of course! With more quaint bars offering customised drinks popping up in popular areas like Club Street, Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street, there’s been a lack of bars that feature a live band.

Don’t get me wrong, quaint bars are really great but when you just want a place to relax after a long week,  live music just has that ‘kickback and relax’ vibe. We’ve found 5 bars that have made live music a big feature in their bars, and we’re telling you they sound AMAZING!

1. Blu Jaz


Blu Jazz needs no introduction if you’ve ever walked the streets of Haji Lane. While other bars have come and gone, Blu Jazz has stood the test of time. If you’re ever in the area and in need of place to relax after a long day Blu Jazz is the perfect place. WithDJs and live jazz bands playing here every other day of the week, it’s no wonder Blu Jaz is a favourite among locals and expats!

Blu Jazz
11 Bali Lane, Historic Kampong Glam, S189848
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu, 12pm – 1am; Fri, 12pm – 2am; Sat, 3pm – 2am
Contact: 6292 3800

2. Timber @ The Substation

(image credit: 45 Armenian St, S179936
Opening Hours: Tue – Thu, 6pm – 1am; Fri – Sat, 6pm – 2am
6338 8030

3. The Powder Room @ Black Swan

(image credit:

4. Crazy Elephant

(image credit: 6337 7859

5. Wala Wala

(image credit: Also Read: Timbre Goes Out Of SG! You Can Soak In The Chill Vibes & Good Music At KL Now!

A 3 Minute Rundown Of Timbre’s Newly Launched Container & Food Truck-Style Food Court

We’re sure you’ve heard of the newly opened Timbre+ by now. And if you haven’t, you’ll want to drop by for a meal after reading this. Here’s all the juicy highlights in less than 3 minutes.

As many an Instagram post would show, this container and food truck-style food court features vibrant graffiti, high ceilings, and neon store signs. Started by the team behind Timbre, a popular night’s out option for drinks and live music, Timbre+ seems to give off a more food-oriented version of Timbre’s laid-back appeal.

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Maybe it’s because of the novelty of this new gastropark, or maybe it’s because of its cool hipster quotient, but the lunch time crowd is no joke, so you might want to avoid the lunch hour if you’re not a fan of crowds. But more importantly, let’s talk about the delicious and extensive food selection at Timbre+.


With 21 hawkers and 14 restaurant brands, you won’t be disappointed with their mix of well-loved local favourites and affordable restaurant-level cuisine that caters to different price points. (Note: the restaurants mostly open for the evening crowd after 3pm.)

From the Nasi Padang store’s fluffy pratas, to Teppei Daidokoro’s Kaisen Don, to Fishball Story’s handmade fishball noodles, to Dancing Crab Shack’s Cajun seafood, to Chit Chaat Chai’s North Indian street bites, to Portico’s Spanish tapas and indulgent churros, you can look forward to tasting all sorts of cuisine at Timbre+.

That said, we think pictures certainly speak louder than words, especially where food is concerned, so have fun scrolling and we’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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And when the sun goes down, grab a beer and wait for the party to begin.

Music & Drinks

Get a drink from Timbre+’s very own bar and chill to Timbre’s resident live bands right at Timbre+. Having had SuperSonic perform during its launch on 1st April, drop by from Wednesdays to Saturdays for the live music affair with more local bands like Sweatshop Jam, The Common People, and O.K. READY!  jamming on Timbre+’s stage.

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If you’re into live music, good food, or anything hipster and alternative, you’ll probably love this place. More details on the Timbre+ website– keep an eye out for future events like festivals and pop-up markets too!

Address: 73A Ayer Rajah Crescent JTC LaunchPad @ one-north Singapore 139957
Opening hours: Mon to Thurs 6am to 12am, Fri & Sat 6am to 1am, closed on Sun

(Header image credit: original image by Timbre+, edited by author.)

Also Read: 8 Delish Meals Under $10 In Orchard That Will Leave You Satisfied! – Part 2