ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 29

Creating that feeling of Christmas

By Madhushala Senaratne, Pix by J. Weerasekera

Decorations are an essential part of Christmas and for those for whom it is a profession, it is a challenge to create something new and unique every year. Though we see the Christmas trees decorated with baubles, and holly berry wreaths only at this season, as the designers constantly remind us, the possibilities of doing something different with these same old decorations are indeed endless.

A well-known floral designer, Mary Jayaratne has been taking up this challenge since 2000 and is more than happy with her décor done this year for the Trans Asia, Galle Face Hotel, Bayleaf restaurant, World Trade Center, Commons and Ramani Fernando Salons at the Royal Park or Lucky Plaza. Mind you, the decorations are different at each location.

A ‘gold’ theme has transformed the Trans Asia Hotel. A 15 foot Christmas tree with gold baubles, apples and berries hanging from its gold branches greets you as you enter the hotel, while smaller trees stand on the reception tables. Wreaths of different sizes decorated with apples, berries, leaves as well as pomegranates all sprayed in gold hang on the pillars.

“Out of the many Christmas decorations I have done, this was truly something out of the ordinary,” says Mary who developed the idea from a picture of a gold wreath in a magazine. “The idea of these decorations being done in gold was then taken up as our theme, and I created the rest along that. It is completely different to the usual red, green and silver décor.”

The decorations at the Galle Face Hotel and the World Trade Center are more traditional with red and green predominant. “The Ramani Fernando Salon at Lucky Plaza has this ‘twiggy’ look with a lot of twigs and baubles, while the two other salons at Royal Park and Nugegoda have a red and silver theme,” she says.

Well known for her bridal bouquets and hotel and church decorations for weddings, “this was just a hobby that expanded,” a smiling Mary says. “I started working on Christmas decor a couple of years ago, when someone at Crescat suggested that I try my hand at Christmas decorations and I have gradually moved to other hotels.”

Mary had been working on this year’s Christmas decor which went up on December 1, for well over three months. Much effort went into it, she admits, but it gives her great pleasure to see visitors to the hotel admire her work. And looking at them, one can’t but help feeling ‘Christmassy’ too.

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