“He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good.
So be good for goodness sake!”

Carolling, mistletoes, oversized gingerbread man, white glittered reindeers, bauble filled 100 ft trees, Santa Rinas and many more unforgettable moments that make Christmas so magical.

Like any other festivals, Christmas is a time for giving and it really isn’t all that memorable when there is no one to share it with. So for this year, I found 2 socially impactful activities that I had a lot of fun partaking in.

Books & children

I was in the midst of looking for a good read for the holidays when I stumbled upon an initiative MPH was running specially in December. It was basically a book drive, but the books are purchased by customers from MPH stores itself, and these are later donated to children living in 20 participating orphanages and homes all across Malaysia.

Books and other learning materials have a special place in my heart as they are important to personal development and growth. No matter the genre or age of a book, I have always learned something new from every book I have read. Hence, when I saw the Christmas tree, I was sold.

It really is a win-win-win situation for everyone – MPH increases their sales on children books, homes receive new reading materials, and customers are given the opportunity to give back to society. Lovely.

Christmas tree at MPH in Setia City Mall.
Select a card and book that is appropriate to the child’s age. Write a message on the card, make payment and MPH will take care of the rest.
The light reads I picked for Samuel Phua (13) and Jenny Yap (13) of Good Samaritan Home.

Markets & refugees

Fast forward to 17 December – it was pouring heavily and certain sections of Bangsar was flooded. Traffic was crawling and it was a pain trying to find parking.

Despite this, I was really excited to see what I could get my hands on at a charity Christmas market.

Amazin’ Graze, a healthy snacks company, and The Co., a co-working space, held a 1-day Christmas market to help the United Learning Centre continue provide education to refugee children in KL. About 100 children visit the centre daily, and boarding is provided to 40 children whose parents are working outside of the city centre and in areas without a learning centre that is within a reasonable distance. To kickstart the centre’s funds for 2017, all proceeds from the event will be contributed to them.

The co-working space was kinda small but it was impressive how they were able to squeeze in almost 30 stalls inside. There was also a good mix of products on sale: food, drinks, fashion and beauty products, kitchenware and home decors.

Customers purchase RM50 coupons at the front desk and use them to exchange for products.

Healthy treats for pets – this was a big hit among my friends.
Clothes & fashionable stuff.
Contemporary glass casings for plants.
Crockeries, pillows and casings, and other handicrafts.

Everyone was really friendly and it was great to see the positive response the organisers received.

An embarrassing moment for me was bumping into a university mate I haven’t seen since graduation (8 years ago) while managing lamb slider juices that were all over my hands and face. I definitely know how to leave a great impression.

Final words

So that was my December! I would love to hear your “giving back” Christmas stories and I hope 2016 has been a great year for you all.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year! See you in 2017.