When I first moved to the tropics I found it incredible difficult to get into the Christmas mood. Every year it has gotten easier and I now happily embrace the dark tropical nights, light candles and wash my gingerbread down with ice tea. Kuala Lumpur is not a bad place to be around Christmas – as you can see from the list below. These tips may help you get in the Christmas mood:
Christmas trees & decoration in KL
We have heard rumours that the customs regulations have changed – that’s why there are real trees this year – they have been sold by Ikea and Floristika in the past. Some have spotted real trees in random locations but the price tag has been over RM1,000 for a tree! You may find something that can pass as a Christmas tree in one of the nurseries in Sungai Buloh. Chinatown or SSF are always safe bets for a plastic one and decoration, as are Robinsons, Parkson and Metrojaya where you typically find the very glamorous kind of trees and decoration. Chinatown is also filled to the brim with decoration. Advent calendars are now widely available at places like Village Grocer and Cold Storage, Lego Calendars are stocked by most toy stores and even the new Smiggle shop in 1Utama had some cool calendars!
You can find pretty much any ingredient for whipping up Christmas treats from all parts of the word. Turkeys and ham can be pre-ordered and bought from major grocery stores, frozen or readily cooked – at least Jason’s, Jaya Grocer, Blue Cow and Ben’s normally stock them. Mulled wine or gluhwein is not readily available but the spices, red wine and Rybena are!
Ikea has ready-made ginger bread house kits and frozen dough – kids love making the cookies and Christmas is not complete without the smell!
If you are not in the mood for sweating in the kitchen you can either outsource the cooking or eat out altogether. Last year we tried a vegetarian Christmas meal. All posh hotels offer Christmas activities, lunches and dinners and many have entertainment for kids. Many hotel buffets fill up early, some even require pre-payment.
Shopping mall events & Santa photos
As always in KL, the action happens in the malls. Malls remain buzzing throughout the holidays, as do cinemas and other entertainments outlets. A classic photo op with Santa is usually at Harvey Norman check individual stores for times. The Pavilion also has a photo opp with Santa and sets the record with Christmas decoration – this year it’s a a merry-go-round with Swarowski crystals – but others follow suit. For wintery activities, head out to one of the indoor skating rinks in KL or I-city for some fake snow. The tallest Christmas tree in Malaysia is apparently found at Suria KLCC:
Photo: Suria KLCC.
Charities in KL
It is also the season of giving: there are many charities that welcome donations throughout the year, but particularly towards the end of the year. We have put together a list of charities in KL that need your help.
Christmas events for kids in KL
There is so much going on in KL from concerts to kids’ Christmassy workshops, check a complete list of Christmas events here.
If you have some great tip s on a KL Christmas please share them in the comments or on Facebook for others to enjoy, too!