Continuing our citywide round-up of all the decoration efforts for this Christmas, we are featuring some of the highlights when it comes to the shopping complexes around Colombo. Most years, the malls give the hotels a run for their money with the effort they put into their décor.
This year, however, we did notice that much of the holiday décor was obligatory. It is understandable, considering how, unlike hotels which can offer promotions for their signature restaurants and holiday giveaways, shopping malls face a different challenge considering that the official advice is to maintain social distancing. Hence, most of our shopping gets done online and people tend to avoid malls due to the fear of overcrowding here in Colombo.
Despite the gloomy circumstances these past two years, with the pandemic really sucking the life out of the festivities, a number of the shopping malls had participated to an extent and some with pretty impressive results.
Unlike many of the other shopping malls around Colombo, Crescat had actually opted to stick to a singular theme – deciding to go with a tropical Christmas. The mall had adorned their corridors with golden decorations, which were all very tropical themed.
The primarily gold theme with little pops of color coming from tropical flowers like hibiscus blended in to fit the gorgeous motif, and we have to really give props here to the decorators at Crescat for taking it upon themselves to come up with something that is a little different and out of the box. The effort is clearly there and we can appreciate that.
Overall the mall really did go the extra mile and chose to give their patrons something special for the season, adding to the festive mood and creating a wonderful tapestry for everyone’s holiday photo ops.
One Galle Face
This one is a bit of an outlier considering that it is attached to a major city hotel, and with the shared themes between the two establishments, One Galle face was pretty much left with no choice but to really go all out with their holiday décor.
Despite the looming threat of the Omicron variant, One Galle Face has been pretty packed since December came around and to suit the festive mood, the mall had really taken it upon themselves to set up a unique set of decorations, opting to go the extra mile and trying out some creative structures to add some colour within the premises.
The massive Christmas tree that the mall sets up annually was very noticeable as usual. However, this year they have adorned it with a horde of tiny golden lights that surround an alternating pattern of adorable little treehouses. The base of the tree is surrounded by black and white checkered horses adding to the magical quality of the entire presentation.
Overall easily, this one was a highlight in the holiday décor department, so much effort had been put in to the presentation, that many of the patrons took notice turning the entirely of the lobby into an impromptu photo studio with nearly everyone wanting a selfie with one of the horses or the whimsical train tracks that surround the Christmas tree base.
Colombo City Centre (CCC)
CCC had their customary Christmas tree that reached the ceiling, yet the decorations and innovation sort of stopped there. Nevertheless, they did feature musical performances, and live music for the season is always a win.
CCC had also done their usual tiny lights adorning the trees and while they kept things pretty simple within the building itself – with a few Christmas trees scattered across the floors, the trees and the lights really lit up the entrance to the building.
The lights reflecting on the Gangarama Lake also added to the overall ambience and you could say that they managed to do quite a lot without doing too much.
While the holiday décor wasn’t all that extravagant, CCC remained incredibly busy with people walking in and out in droves, thanks to all of the buzzing activity and the numerous Christmas promotions held by the various retail outlets within the premises.
With the bigger malls having come up, Majestic City has sort of taken the passenger seat in Colombo when it comes to shopping malls. But considering its central location, the mall is still frequented by many in Colombo and for Christmas, Majestic City usually goes all out.
The Majestic City is very dedicated when it comes to the holidays, and usually, we are incredibly impressed by the effort they put into their holiday décor. With some memorable presentations coming to mind from the year before the last and the year before that when they featured a giant bauble at their entrance and a massive red bow the following year.
In 2021, while they didn’t skimp out on the decorations, they certainly did hold back just a little bit. They of course had the customary statement piece of a Christmas tree completely covered in green lights. In fact, Majestic City remains the only mall that sticks to a majority LED lights theme without cluttering too much with additional structures, and they tend to stick to interesting Christmas tree structures for the interior.
Despite the stripped-down decorations by their own standards, they were still pretty great when it comes to the relatively smaller size that they have to work with. Majestic City still managed to create a jolly festive mood.
The Independence Arcade has always gone a different route when it comes to Christmas decorations. Often opting to stay away from the traditional Christmas trees, and Santa Claus and reindeers, Independence Arcade has always gone with a more abstract look and this year was no different.
The Arcade opted for massive triangular structures resembling Christmas trees lined with large bright golden lights. The light triangles adorned the entirety of the entrance to the Arcade, creating a forest full of trees entirely covered in lights.
The crowding of the massive structures really lit up the gorgeous white Arcade building and contrasted well with the changing lights on the Independence Square. It’s actually quite the sight, and considering that the Independence Square is pretty isolated if not for the Arcade, the lights really are a shining beacon and it’s quite a beautiful view for the passers-by.
The streets of Colombo were thankfully wonderfully lit up with the many businesses along the streets doing their best to create a magical festive mood. You can tell that the residents appreciated the effort, especially considering the year that we have all had, a bit of light, colour, and holiday cheer is definitely appreciated, and can go a long way.