CHRISTMAS is a time to share love with one another. And, for Jerome Lim Ming Han, the Yuletide brings double joy as he celebrates his birthday with friends and family in Penang.
Since he was three, Jerome’s parents Paul Lim Kok Siang and Alice Toh Oy Heng have been hosting annual parties for him at the kindergarten-cum-day care centre that they run here.
“I look forward to Christmas every year, as I can celebrate my birthday and the birth of Jesus Christ with other children,” said Jerome at his 10th birthday celebration at Tadika Sri Bistari in Bandar Bertam Putra here.
At total of 24 children aged between three and 10 years, including Jerome’s schoolmates from SJK (C) Pei Yu, joined in the party, which was filled with squeals, noisy banter and laughter.
The children played a game of musical chairs before gathering around the table to sing the birthday song as Jerome cut his Christmas-themed birthday cake.
They later exchanged gifts and tucked into yummy spaghetti, pizza, fried chicken, fried bihun, chicken nuggets, sausages and apples.
Paul, 54, who donned a Santa Claus outfit, later gave out gifts and sweets to all the children.
Jerome, an avid collector of miniature car models, said he was hoping to get a scaled down version of the Toyota Vellfire, but his parents were still not able to find it.
“My birthday and Christmas wish is to study hard and become an engineer one day,” he said, adding that his dream car is the Tesla Model X.
Recalling his birth, Toh said a group of carollers and Santa Claus visited her at the maternity ward of a private hospital, about 12 hours after delivering Jerome at around 9am.
“We are blessed to have Jerome, and I will always remember the day he was born as it was my very special Christmas gift that year,” she said.
Toh, in her 40s, who is the centre’s principal, said they chose to celebrate Jerome’s birthday with the children as Christmas reminded them of the gifts from God and the need to share God’s blessings with others.
They have three other children – Elena Lim Zhi Wei, 16, Aaron Lim Khai Zhe, 14, and Jolene Lim Zhi Suan, seven.
“This year is extra special as Jerome received his first Holy Communion, while Elena received the sacrament of Confirmation in church. Both are keen on gospel singing too,” she said.
Toh said that on Christmas Day, after attending morning mass at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Butterworth, she would prepare chicken curry and other dishes for some 30 friends and family members.