Christmas in Shanghai

According to my Chinese teacher, people in China are beginning to participate more in Christmas because they see it as a great way to make money (but then so do a lot of Americans, right?) However, it is totally about the commercial here–no hint of the Christmas story whatsoever, which might explain our utter failure at finding an angel or star for the top of our tree, until we finally went to Walmart, where we found 2 lone stars. For awhile I thought the only Christmas song I was going to hear was “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth”, but others have gradually seeped into the stores.

So, here are some of the best, the strange and the ugly decorations we’ve found around Shanghai.

Not technically a Christmas decoration, ornamental cabbages have been used in decorative ways all over the city to great effect.

The exterior walls of Plaza 66 on the next block have been under construction since we moved here. Two weeks ago they started covering the construction walls with evergreen mats.

Each grid was individually made by someone and then placed on the wall. They really did look like Santa's elves. The job looked hugely daunting though--they covered the building on each side of two city blocks!

But this is the result! Kind of cool, isn't it?

Unfortunately Plaza 66 wins the Ugly Christmas tree award. In real life this tree is just creepy. It does get points for its star though.

At night it turns a myriad of colors like red (lava lamp tree!)

or blue/purple. Nope, doesn't help.

The next block has this inexplicable arched pathway down the sidewalk, but it's actually quite enchanting in a Disney-esque kind of way at night when it's all lit up

Out in Pudong we have a tree that wins the engineering award for getting Santa and his reindeer off the ground

A more subtle artsy approach to Christmas.

The Christmas display at Carrefour grocery store

The Christmas tree outside the IFC mall was color coordinated with the Pearl Tower in the back ground

Not quite sure what they were going for in this display at the IFC mall

They were very trendy with the upside down tree

This wings/football shoulder pads outfit made Mark and I roll our eyes. According to our young and trendy sources, this is a look from Lady GaGa. Insert additional eye roll.

This is one of my favorite trees

Another display at the IFC mall

Actually, trees in Shanghai are just another opportunity for picture taking!

Ok, not a Christmas decoration, but this gave Meredith and I quite the laugh. Romantic waxing--tell me more!

Back on topic, this is the tree at the Portman Ritz Carlton, the hotel next to our apartment. Probably one of the tallest and it had stars!

I thought the tree from the Peace Hotel bore repeating.

Our little elevator tree that has sadly replaced our pretty flowers

Kelly's Christmas trees. I love the sheep's little behinds!

Our next batch of visitors has arrived!

Tomorrow: Ben!


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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2 Responses to Christmas in Shanghai

  1. Teresa says:

    Oh no !! I had asked Brooke for pictures of the daily elevator flowers!! Oh well, thanks for tree pictures. I loved the Peace Hotel one! Merry Christmas.

  2. Jean says:

    The ‘C&A’ tree reminded me of a clothing store there used to be in Britain. We thought C&A must stand for Coats and ‘Ats!

    Happy Christmas!

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