Christmas trees go quirky

From a walking tree to one with Pokemon toys, here are six trees to check out this festive season. Benson Ang reports

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They walk, jump and dance in front of crowds of curious onlookers. Accompanied by a gingerbread man and two bells, these dancing Christmas trees are part of the Marina Bay Sands' Christmas festivities

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Do not be surprised if a Christmas tree - or two - walks towards you and starts dancing.

Accompanied by a gingerbread man and two Christmas bells, these dancing trees are part of the integrated resort's Christmas festivities.

Under the tree costumes, which weigh 6.5kg each and are made of sequins, cloth and tinsel, are performers from home-grown events and entertainment company Joan Walker.

One of them is polytechnic student Aaron Chua, 21. He says: "The costume is a little stuffy, but the material is thin and you can still feel some air-con. But because we are walking around, our bodies produce heat and we end up perspiring."

Dancing Christmas trees at Marina Bay Sands. ST PHOTO: BENSON ANG

Another mascot is Mr Lee Yong Hao, 26, who works full-time at a pharmacy. "We want to surprise the shoppers, especially those who think we are just regular trees," he says. "When they realise that we can move, dance and jump, they get surprised and it brings them joy."

The costume can be worn like a backpack and putting it on takes about 10 minutes.

Ms Joanna Loo, in her 40s, who founded Joan Walker with her husband Daniel Lim in 2010, says: "We have been performing at Marina Bay Sands for the last five years. The reaction from shoppers has been positive. Many of them are delighted to see Christmas trees that they can interact with.

"It really makes the Christmas spirit come alive."

•The dancing Christmas trees will perform at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2 to 8pm, till Dec 25.

The Centrepoint

Majestic garland chandelier tree at The Centrepoint. PHOTO: FRASERS CENTREPOINT MALLS

Foodies will love The Centrepoint's festive decorations this year, which feature a quirky kitchen run by gingerbread men up to their ears in frosting and cream.

Inside the mall, shoppers can also see a majestic garland chandelier tree, decorated in sparkling baubles, twinkling fairy lights, Christmas candles and pretty gingham ribbons.

Suspended by steel cables, this 5m-tall, 110kg aerial tree has four tiers filled with iced cakes and sweets, pastries, snowy sugar doughnuts and rainbow-coloured ice- cream sundaes.

Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove

4.6m-tall snow globe at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove. PHOTO: QUAYSIDE ISLE @ SENTOSA COVE

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Head to Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove, where three Christmas trees are housed in a 4.6m-tall snow globe at its Fountain Plaza.

Inside the globe is a wintry wonderland where "snow" - actually polystyrene beads, similar to those in bean bags - is constantly in the air, thanks to fans. The globe's shape is maintained by a wind-blowing machine.

Outside the globe are Christmas garlands, silver baubles, red poinsettias as well as see- through bubble decorations, some carrying a star ornament inside.


Lot One Shoppers' Mall

This suburban mall in Choa Chu Kang has adopted a recycling theme this Christmas to do its part to protect the environment.

Completed more than three weeks ago, this 7m-tall conical installation - billed as the mall's Christmas tree - is partly constructed with 2,100 plastic spoons, recycled raffia string, gold tinsel and trash bags.

Besides traditional decorations such as larger-than- life gift boxes, teddy bears and gold ribbons, there are six glowing baubles at its base, each made up of 350 plastic spoons.

And instead of a star, a whimsical pink hat - made from 13 rolls of raffia string, trash bags and gold tinsel - sits on top of the tree.

Shoppers can sit on high-back chairs at the base of the tree.

Mr Eddie Lim, 48, the mall's general manager, says: "Through this tree and our festive decorations, we hope to inspire the community to go green and do our part to protect the environment this festive season."

Changi Airport

5.4m-tall tree made of 675 Pokemon plush toys at Changi Airport. PHOTO: CHANGI AIRPORT GROUP

Pokemon fans, rejoice: Changi Airport's year-end festivities are themed around the popular game.

Behind Terminal 1's information counter, in the public area, stands a 5.4m-tall tree made of 675 Pokemon plush toys (pictured).

These include five popular Pokemon characters - Pikachu, Eevee, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. There are also three new characters - Rowlet, Litten and Popplio - from the new Pokemon Sun and Moon video games released by Nintendo earlier this month.

At Terminal 3's departure hall, also in the public area, is an 8m-tall tree covered with Pokeball baubles and Pokemon plush toys.

It is decorated with 100,000 mini-LED festive bulbs that change colour during daily scheduled light shows.

Mr Bernard Siew, 39, vice-president of airport operations management at Changi Airport Group, says the theme was chosen because it "has a strong crowd appeal for both young and old".

Ion Orchard

Tiffany & Co-themed Christmas tree at Ion Orchard. PHOTO: ION ORCHARD

Ion Orchard's Tiffany & Co-themed Christmas tree this year has major bling. It is adorned with more than 2,000 custom-designed ornaments, including diamond-faceted ornaments, iconic Tiffany-blue boxes and a glittering tree topper.

Inside the tree is a free photo booth with a backdrop of the New York City night skyline set against fireworks.

When two people hug or kiss in the booth, the sensors are activated, the skyline lights up and a picture is taken. The resulting photo can be collected at the Tiffany & Co store on level one of the mall.

In addition, a video of the guests' time in the booth will also be recorded and a link to download the video will be e-mailed to them, so they can share the clip on social media.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline Christmas trees go quirky. Subscribe