Festive decorations from the heart in Tampines heartland
Using recycled material, a bit of ingenuity and months of work, Mr Andy Lim Beng Huat, 70, has been bringing festive cheer to his corner of Tampines for more than two decades.
Every Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas, the long-time resident of Block 722 Tampines Street 72 decorates the eighth-storey lift landing and common corridor near his flat, changing up his designs each year.
For this holiday season, Mr Lim spent about five months making a sled out of a cardboard box and piping.
And along with a snowman, fake presents and other ornaments, Mr Lim, who runs an electrical works business, has also thrown in a snow machine to further add to the atmosphere.
He told The New Paper yesterday he started planning for Christmas this year as early as Chinese New Year and started work on the sled in June, going online for inspiration and to research on how to craft it.
Spending an hour each night on the decorations, he finished putting them up last month and organised an informal lighting up ceremony on Dec 1.
He said in Mandarin: "I do all this for children to come and play, have fun and take photos. It is all voluntary."
Mr Lim said he always has safety in mind and has fire extinguishers standing by. He also uses his home's electricity to power the lights and always cleans up afterwards.
Despite using discarded items for his decorations, Mr Lim still had to fork out about $85 this year, with the bulk of it going to a miniature Christmas tree.
But it is all worth it for him.
"You don't have to go to the shopping centre to see these decorations. You can do it in a Housing Board estate too," he said.
One neighbour, Mr Robert Chua, 41, said the decorations have helped to break the monotony at the block.
"If you don't go to Orchard or the town area, you won't see these kinds of decorations. But on our floor, we can see it every day, we can feel it. It definitely makes a difference," said the teacher.
With only a month until Chinese New Year next year, Mr Lim already has plans to re-purpose some of his Christmas decorations. He has also started to plan for next Christmas.
Mr Lim said he will continue to put up his decorations until he is told to stop or his age does not allow him to.
"If I do nothing, I feel uneasy," he added.