Setting the mood for Christmas


Queensbay Mall’s Rhythm of Dreams festive backdrop is a dreamy scene of red Christmas trees, a greenhouse, wishing fountain, hanging plants, reindeer and cold mists. — JEREMY TAN/The Star

MAGICAL festive displays can once again be seen in Penang’s shopping malls, bringing back the joyful spirit that was missing at the height of the pandemic.

Crafted around whimsical themes, they offer ample photo- taking opportunities and are sure to uplift moods during the year-end Christmas and New Year holidays.

With the country hitting its vaccination targets and the state having the second highest coverage with over 85% as of Dec 7 of its population double jabbed, many are now comfortable to venture out.

Some revelled in the Winter Wonderland that popped up inside Gurney Plaza, reaching out to touch snowflakes that descended around the centrepiece 8.5m-tall Christmas tree and grand castle.

Aman Central’s ‘Check-in AC this Christmas’ display includes a giant chessboard flooring, guarded by toy soldiers and Christmas trees dressed in traditional colours. — photo courtesy of Aman CentralAman Central’s ‘Check-in AC this Christmas’ display includes a giant chessboard flooring, guarded by toy soldiers and Christmas trees dressed in traditional colours. — photo courtesy of Aman Central

Together with a regal swan, reindeer, cobblestone paths and many other conifers, it is a scene reminiscent of Europe, which is what the mall was going for, centre manager Peter Chan said.

“As many are still unable to travel overseas for holidays, we wanted to create something that would give shoppers wonderful memories here.

“We had a London Christmas last year, then an Old Shanghai Chinese New Year and Moroccan Raya earlier this year.

“We also wish to remind everyone to continue being mindful and comply with prevailing health SOP such as one-metre distancing, constantly updating their MySejahtera statuses and wearing a mask at all times,” he added.

Red Christmas trees with gold baubles are the distinctive feature of Queensbay Mall’s striking Rhythm of Dreams decorations. They encircle a wishing fountain and greenhouse filled with live plants.

Festive banners with Santa Claus and toy soldiers adorning Sunshine Square’s promotions area.Festive banners with Santa Claus and toy soldiers adorning Sunshine Square’s promotions area.

Spot the cute reindeer or listen to birds chirping away. A cold mist blows through the scene intermittently, adding a dreamy feel. There is also a tunnel of undulating frames which makes for great social media shots.

“The plants represent new hope. We’re hopeful that the uncertainty caused by the pandemic will soon pass and there will be better things for everyone ahead,” centre manager Lee Sue Ling said.

Standing tall in Gurney Paragon Mall is a 11.5m-tall Christmas tree bedecked in classic red and gold ornaments.

Directly opposite it is the display for its Grant A Wish campaign for underprivileged children.

Hunza Properties Bhd executive director Khor Tze Ming said shoppers could pick any wish card, buy the gifts, then drop it off at the concierge by Dec 22.

A giant lifebuoy accompanies Straits Quay’s main Christmas tree which is bedecked in similar maritime ornaments for its A Nautical Christmas celebrations.A giant lifebuoy accompanies Straits Quay’s main Christmas tree which is bedecked in similar maritime ornaments for its A Nautical Christmas celebrations.

“The spirit of giving is always close to our hearts and this year is no exception. It’s not about the biggest nor most prettily wrapped present, but the time and effort shoppers take to find and buy the perfect present for these kids.

“It reminds them that they are not forgotten during the festive season. If there is a time to show the true meaning of Christmas – of giving and spreading joy – it’s this year,” Khor shared.

Straits Quay welcomes all onboard for its A Nautical Christmas celebrations, with the centrepiece being a 9.1m-tall tree.

Mini boat helms, lifebuoys and starfish are the ornaments. Complementing it are a pair of pop-up photo backdrops with a giant lifebuoy and oversized gift boxes.

“We wanted something unconventional that befits our breezy waterfront location. Instead of the typical navy blue palette, we injected some colours to make it refreshing,” marketing manager Gillian Tan said.

Shoppers taking photos with Gurney Paragon Mall’s giant Christmas tree, which is accompanied by four smaller ones.Shoppers taking photos with Gurney Paragon Mall’s giant Christmas tree, which is accompanied by four smaller ones.

Over at Sunshine Square, large banners with Santa Claus, toy soldiers and other Yuletide motifs add festive cheer as customers go about their shopping.

In Kedah, Aman Central welcomes visitors with its Check-In AC This Christmas decorations inspired by German folklore.

Nutcracker toy soldiers stand at the ready for selfie hunters, while a life-sized chess board, glistening baubles and twinkling lights complete the scene.

Senior marketing communications manager Ken Chin said, “Despite the challenges of the past two years, we still wanted to let shoppers experience a joyous festive season so we can all look forward with hope.

“With cautious optimism, may the holiday cheer lighten up everyone’s spirits.

“Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

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