CONIFERS aglow with glistening ornaments, whimsical backdrops brimming with presents, and lingering echoes of joyful carols, are sure signs that Christmas is just around the corner.
‘Tis the season to be jolly as shopping malls and hotels throughout Penang transform themselves into festive wonderland, spreading cheer to both locals and visitors during the year-end holiday season.
Children and the young at heart are bound to be enchanted by the vibrant Candyland at Queensbay Mall’s central atrium – with giant candy canes, lollipops and a gingerbread house providing an amazing sight.
The mall’s marketing manager Wendy Wong said: “This year, shoppers will have a unique experience that are bound to bring back memories that are literally sweet, in the form of candies and gingerbread.”
It is equally light-hearted at Sunshine Square, where its mascot, the Sunshine Bee, ‘buzzes’ cheerfully above giant lollipops, ice cream cones and gingerbreadmen.
Advertising and promotions manager Cynthia Loo said it reflected the joy of Christmas and created a playful ambience for families doing their shopping during the school holidays.
The embellishment at Gurney Plaza take on a northern European feel, with a 5.5m-tall Christmas tree at the main entrance and a snowflake-lined pavilion at the main atrium, all predominantly blue and white.
“We moved away from the traditional red and gold as it would be too similar to Chinese New Year. Since Malaysia does not have four seasons, we created a frosty, winter ambience for shoppers to enjoy,” reasoned marketing communications manager Peter Chan.
Neighbouring Gurney Paragon Mall plans to recreate the traditional Yuletide ambience with elaborate arches and a fireplace backdrop surrounded by 3.7m-tall conifers that would be set up later this week.
For now, giant gold baubles and stars descend from the atrium roof, while giant angels and poinsettia adorn various parts of the mall, as well as a 6m-tall tree at the Kelawei Road entrance, according to its marketing communications executive Janice Lim.
Straits Quay has featured a unique 7.6m high oval-shaped Christmas tree adorned with some 1,500 ornaments, candy canes, toadstools and fairies, conjuring a magical wonderland by the sea.
It is a popular photo taking backdrop with visitors, especially at night.
Gama Supermarket and Depart-mental Store’s 8.2m-tall tree, located along its sidewalk, captures the attention of motorists at the nearby intersection in George Town.
This year, it is dressed up with almost 200 teddy bears.
“Teddy bears have always been a symbol of joy, and it complements our Joyful Christmas theme perfectly,” explained advertising, promotions and visual merchandising assistant manager Joseph Tan.
The Christmas fervour is equally bedazzling at establishments like G Hotel, where the giant G sign along Gurney Drive regularly takes on different ‘guises’ to go along prevailing festivities and celebrations.
It is now a jolly snowman, which beckons passersby to venture into the lobby, where a 5.5m-tall Christmas tree, sparkling with shades of gold, silver and copper that simply gleams for attention.
“These are the colours that will characterise our new block, G2. It is a teaser for the public as we prepare for its opening next year,” said public relations manager Christina Tan.
Move aside Rudolph, as ‘Mr. T the Turtle’, is the new partner of Santa Claus at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. The mascot makes his rounds every morning to meet and greet guests.
“Turtles on our Malaysian beaches need to be protected. In line with our go-green practices, we are also reusing our festive decorations from previous years,” said communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Flamingo Hotel by the beach general manager Ong Hai Leong pointed to their 6m-tall colourful Christmas tree in the lobby, ‘which is a symbol of hope for lasting peace, harmony and prosperity.’
At Hotel Equatorial Penang, there is an elaborate scene with a castle, cutouts of Santa Claus in various poses and a giant Christmas tree at its airy lobby.
“It provides great photo oppor-tunities for our guests, and helps spread the magic of the season,” said the hotel’s public relations manager Debra Jayesuria.
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