[Win tickets to JCube's Skating with the Stars event on Nov 30 and Dec 7, where you can get to meet celeb couple Kate Pang, Andie Chen and their adorable brood! Read on to find out how or click here.]
Christmas is a warm and fuzzy time of the year for many, but it's also a season that leaves our hearts full but wallets near-empty. But hey, we're not complaining. After all, it's not called the season of giving for nothing.
As with any festive period, it's also a busy time of the year for families, what with gatherings to attend, mad feasts to cook up, and presents to buy.
If you're terrible at buying gifts, take comfort in knowing that like us, celebrities have an equally hard time when it comes to yuletide gifting.
Celeb couple Andie Chen and Kate Pang shared with AsiaOne that while they do not have a tradition of gift-giving within their family, their attempts have sadly fallen flat on the rare occasions that they tried to get into the spirit.
Andie, 33, revealed that the worst gift he's ever received from his wife was a Captain Marvel wallet, which Kate had claimed to be "Captain America". Unsurprisingly, the gift is also Kate's biggest regret — we imagine not being able to live down the amusing gaffe might be one reason.
Proving that it's the little things that count, Kate, 35, mentioned that the best gift she's gotten from her kids was a card made by five-year-old Aden and two-year-old Avery. Aww.
It's understandable why parents may be unwilling to spend a lot on expensive gifts and toys for their kids. All too often, toys get battered and broken, batteries need replacement, or the child's interest simply runs out before the first two situations can occur.
These days, more people are opting for experiences over things, and why not? Studies have found that spending on experiences brings more lasting joy than splashing money on material goods.
Of course, we don't deny that gifts spark joy in many of us (especially if it's a surprise), and we're here to show you that even the simple act of buying a gift doesn't have to break the bank.
Here are some 10/10 Singaporean gift ideas for your kids and spouse this Christmas that won’t be a waste of your hard-earned dollars. The experiences are all available at JCube, a mall where families can eat, shop and play.
Give them an unforgettable experience
We all remember our 'firsts' — the first time we saw fireworks, took a ride on an airplane, or saw an elephant up close. If your child is old enough to remember, why not let him experience something that'll make his eyes open in wonder. Better yet, share the memory. If indulging in a holiday is too extravagant, why not recreate a holiday experience in Singapore?
Why not try: Ice-skating in Singapore
If the Disney flick Frozen is on repeat at home and your child's ongoing anthem is 'Let It Go', this is one gift he or she might love. Bring your family on an ice-skating affair at The Rink, Singapore's first and only Olympic-sized ice-skating rink. The Rink also offers a wide range of events and activities such as recreational ice skating and events like Saturdays on Ice — something even teens can bring their parents to for an unforgettable night of fun!
There's even a private 'party room' there that you can rent for up to two hours. The price of $35 per skater (with a minimum of 10 skaters) will cover admission tickets and rental of skate boots, and will even include a dedicated party host.
If the munchies hit after all that heart-pumping activity, stop by the newly-opened Madly Good Cafe just next to the rink for some coffee, waffles and ice cream.
2. Make meaningful gifts together
If your children are creative and love crafting, why not let them try their hand at making a piece of art that they can be proud of?
There are a multitude of art classes targeted at kids in the market, mostly centred around painting and drawing. Sloshing paint around can be a therapeutic experience for both parents and kids, but if you'd prefer something a little more unique (and a lot less messy) for you and your kids, there are also pottery-making and handicraft workshops.
Why not try: Taoz pottery @ JCube
Here's something we wouldn't mind signing up for. $40 will get you a unique piece of pottery that you and your child (above 3 years of age) can claim as your own. Each session would take about half an hour or less, and for the price, you'll even be able to come back another time to colour in your prized creation. How's that for a good deal?
3. Be a kiasu parent and give your child a head start in music and dance
Is your child blessed with twinkle toes and impeccable rhythm? Why not give your child a head start in music and dance appreciation? After all, it's said to help stimulate your child's developing brain.
K-pop is all the rage now, and surprise surprise, it's not just teens and young adults who are signing up for classes. There are courses for kids as well, so if your child can differentiate TXT from NCT, this may be one gift that he or she would appreciate.
Why not try: Dancepointe Academy @ JCube
Not just a ballet school, Dancepointe Academy offers a wide range of classes from Hip Hop and K-pop to Jazz and Contemporary. Get your free dance trial here.
4. Amp up your regular routine
Giving your family a treat can be something as simple as giving them your undivided attention for a day, whether it's going on a hike at MacRitchie or simply exploring your own neighbourhood.
If your child wants nothing more than to watch the latest feel-good holiday movie in theatres, why not indulge in an afternoon of popcorn-crunching fun. 'Tis the season to be extra 'extra', so treat yourself, we say, and go all out on a cinematic experience. Premium seats or IMAX theatres — your choice.
Why not try: Shaw Theatres JCube IMAX®
Watch the latest blockbuster at the only IMAX theatre in the west of Singapore, with larger-than-life images projected onto crystal-clear screens.
Psst, you can also get $2 off parking charges at JCube from Mondays to Fridays with a minimum spending of $20 at Shaw Theatres JCube. Terms and conditions apply.
5. Help your partner achieve their personal fitness goals
You may have heard that "couples who sweat together, stay together", or something of the sort. If getting fighting fit as a couple is a goal in 2020, then signing up for a fitness programme may be the best gift for you and your partner this year. But tread carefully, this may be a decision you'd want to take together. After all, "honey, I got you a gym membership" can be easily misunderstood by sensitive souls. Remember, you'd want those tears to be that of joy, so wrap your message up in loads of love and positivity.
Why not try: GYMMBOXX @ JCube
Open 24/7, the gym is perfect for busy parents who are only able to steal time away when the kiddos are asleep. Sign up on your birthday month to get an extra 14 days to your plan, or if you're already a member, refer your partner for a free membership of up to a month. Monthly fees start from about $65 on an annual plan; alternatively, a per entry fee of $8 for the less committed.
What else is new at JCube: Tantalising international treats
Now you can get a taste of the hottest Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese delights under one roof at JCube.
Westies, you soon won't have to travel that far to get your hands on Don Don Donki's delectable sweet potatoes.
The Japanese discount chain will be opening their newest outlet at JCube by the end of November, its sixth outlet in Singapore.
The store at the basement of the mall boasts two sections — its regular supermarket and another area which will serve hot and ready-to-eat meals.
Foodies will also be happy to note that Korean skewered meats stall 9PM Kkochi and Taiwanese fried chicken cutlet chain Devil Chicken will be tantalising shoppers with their delicious street eats.
This article is brought to you in partnership with JCube.