As always, there is no shortage of food for the festive season, and those seeking traditional meals for Christmas Day and Christmas Eve will be spoilt for choice, as nearly every hotel will be laying on a special buffet or set menu featuring many of the classic favourites. This is a great option for those with children or a large party – everyone is catered for and no one has to wash up!
For something more intimate, many restaurants have set dinners for Christmas Day and New Year’s eve, and most showcase their in-house specialities rather than festive traditions, so contact your favourite eatery and see what they have going on or check out our dining promos page.
If you want to enjoy a meal at home but the prospect of cooking a turkey fills you with fear, many hotels and restaurants offer take-away turkeys that are ready-roasted and often come with all the side dishes and desserts you could want. Just make sure you place your order early.
PARADING WITH PLEASURE
Share in the celebrations by taking to the streets in your silliest hat and reddest t-shirt at one of the many Christmas parades that will happen all over the country. Usually involving music, dancing, costumes, and much happiness, these are great ways to get the family in the spirit and a good chance to meet some new people too, as everyone is happy to chat at a parade! Some parades worth joining include the Miri and Kuching City Christmas Parades in Sarawak, and more information can be found on the respective city websites.
LIGHTING UP THE WORLD
There is something about Christmas lights that gets everyone in the jolly holiday mood, and sparkling decorations can be all the more easily enjoyed here in the tropics thanks to not having to withstand cold temperatures to admire the lights.
Sunway Pyramid boasts some spectacular Christmas lights in the streets around the mall, while i-City in Selangor is always a superb place to be dazzled. Those who want to make a weekend of it should head down to Singapore, where Orchard Road annually sparkles, much to the delight of locals and tourists alike.
Shopping malls are going to be extra-busy during this festive time, but they are also extra-fun too! Christmas decorations are taken very seriously, especially at the biggest malls in Kuala Lumpur, and centre courts are transformed into winter wonderlands, complete with Christmas trees, sparkling decorations, and Christmas music blaring.
Many malls will host various events such as carol concerts, and nearly all will have Santa stopping by with his team of elves, so make sure you take your little ones down to let the fat guy know their wish list and add a little sparkle to the festive build-up.
ENJOYING THE CHILL
There are some who, having hailed from colder climates, don’t feel quite right without some chill at Christmas. While shopping malls may be cold enough for many, you can further get a proper sense of wintry fun by taking the family ice skating over the holidays.
In the Klang Valley, skaters can head to Sunway Pyramid or e@Curve to don skates and take to the ice, while Penangites can head to SnowLand Megamall Penang, where ice skating is one of the various activities available at this winter sports centre.
It would not be Christmas without a mad rush to buy presents, but gift purchasing is made a little more convenient thanks to the many Christmas markets and bazaars that appear in almost every shopping mall in the country. Visit your favourite mall during the month and you are bound to spot beautiful tree ornaments, gift hampers, and all manner of goodies that will make great presents when you go visiting.
Shopping will also be kinder on your pocket here in Malaysia, because malls and shops nationwide will be getting involved in the annual Year-End Sale, which started in November and runs until the end of year. Expect all kinds of promotions, reductions, and special offers to make shopping more affordable, and this is the perfect opportunity to pick up those things you have coveted all year!
OUT WITH A BANG
As 2012 slips away, make sure you are doing something memorable to mark the moment and celebrate all that has passed in the year behind. Restaurants will have set menus while hotels have glorious buffets, and nearly every F&B outlet in town will have something happening, whether it is a raucous party or an intimate evening.
Many people flock to the capital to admire the fireworks that pop and dazzle behind KLCC, but be warned that the traffic can be quite crazy, so leave early or take the train to one of the designated spots. Head to the Esplanade in Penang to enjoy a display at midnight, while those in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu should keep their eyes peeled for dazzling events happening near them.
Whatever you do to enjoy the end of the year, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, have a wonderful time and stay safe!
Source: The Expat December 2012
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- A Chat with Sunil Nair, Author of When All The Lights Are Stripped Away
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