Christmas is celebrated differently around the world. Traditionally this holiday season is about decorating the tree, building snowmen, singing carols, baking and eating cookies and visiting friends and family in the days running up to (and after) December 25th. In KL, though there is no snow to build snowmen, these traditions remain largely the same. Sure, spending the holiday with sleigh rides and Santa is the norm, but KL does Christmas pretty well too. For one thing, you get to escape the freezing weather, and come December, KL’s streets are lined with bright fairy lights; malls bring out their holly and Christmas trees and year-end sales make shopping very affordable.


Shopping is very popular in KL and during the Christmas season, shopping centres are full of activity and the atmosphere is very festive and fun. With Malaysia’s year-end sales taking place at November and December, this is the best time to grab great bargains on IT gadgets, clothes and home furnishings. Themed mall décor (like ‘Elf Yourself a Merry Christmas’ at Suria KLCC and ‘Christmas Enchantments’ at Pavilion KL) are pretty elaborate, with Santa’s workshops set up to keep kids amused. Meanwhile, adults are entertained with carollers decked out in full red and green costumes (looking very much like Santa’s elves). 


Unless you can send the kids off to their grandparents’ house for a couple of hours, they are going shopping with you: but, don’t worry as there are plenty of malls that will help keep kids occupied. One such place is Kids E-World at The Gardens Mall: there is a special program here that lets you drop your kids off to play in the state-of-the-art playground while you get your shopping done. But then there are those moments you just want to spend with the kids: if you are missing the snow, visit Pavilion KL for its cool nightly fake snowfall which takes place at the Bukit Bintang entrance. Or you could put on your ice skates and head to Sunway Pyramid Ice with the little ones – a spin on the rink is sure to lift your spirits.

Location: Golden Triangle Kuala Lumpur

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

During the Christmas season friends and families gather for tree-decorating parties, cookie-baking sessions and more – all of which is celebrated with plenty of food and drinks. If you are at a loss for your Christmas season menu, why not head to one of KL’s trendy restaurants for a holiday meal? This year we recommend Il Lido (along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng) which is serving up a three-course lunch and four-course western dinner for Christmas. Or why not try the fantastic Christmas Eve menu at Tatto – a gourmet Italian restaurant along Jalan Mayang Sari in KL. Another KL favourite is Mezze Bar & Bistro in Medan Damansara: their weekly Christmas specials include a roast turkey roulade with maple glazed carrots – simply too good to pass up on.

Location: Golden Triangle Kuala Lumpur

Tropical Christmas

On the flipside, if you want to celebrate this holiday season in a more unique way, why not head to Malaysia’s tropical islands to enjoy sunning on the beach, sipping Mai Tais and snorkelling. Many resorts offer promotional packages during the Christmas season, making the idea of counting down to December 25th very reasonable. Besides great room rates, these hotels tempt you through your appetite by offering full-course meals, with roast turkey and eggnog featuring prominently on most of their menus. We like The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa – this year they are having a buffet of festive dishes at its in-house restaurant (Seasonal Tastes) with free flow of selected alcoholic drinks, all accompanied by Christmas carols.

Location: Langkawi, Penang, Redang, Cherating, Port Dickson, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan

By Kuala Lumpur

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

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