Other than the shopping frenzy and the traffic jam and the parte after parte craziness, one of the greatest delights of Christmas is the lights. They naturally have a happy effect on humans.
In Kampala city, almost every shop you enter shines brighter around this time of year. Hotels are beautified with lights both outside and in the guest lobbies inside. Interior spaces in office buildings are cleared and decked with Christmas trees and lights. Some people even decorate their individual work-stations with festive paraphernalia. Of course the home decorations go without saying. All this reflects the joyful mood of the people Christian or non Christian.
Like waterfalls, the bigger the Christmas lights get, the more explosive the effect becomes. Remember the times, for instance, when the whole stretch of Kampala Road and the initial stretch of Jinja Road would be completely festooned in Christmas decoration for a whole month prior to this great celebration? This, unfortunately, has not happened this year.
Giant Christmas lights have been beautifying Kampala City for many years now. Christmas has a way of transforming the skyline of the city and the deeper horizons of the soul of man.
This year, the properties around Kampala that brought us joy are not in short supply.
Acacia Mall in Kisementi, Kamwokya, is one of the daintiest buildings in Kampala.
This year, the shopping mall did a professional job with their lights. Not only do the lights at the mall accentuate the beauty of the building, they were so well designed you’d think they were done by an architect other than a decor professional.
The shiny little beads hug the building in a joyful manner and create an effect of a princely crown on the building. This design simply steps up the classiness of the building.
Watoto Church is one of the well-known pentecostal churches in Kampala not only because it is one of the landmarks of Kampala city, but also because they insist on class. It is one of the properties in Kampala that have had perennial displays of beautiful Christmas lights. The church has toned down the lights this year though.
But that is before you get inside. The interior Christmas decor is a far cry from the outside spectacle. Large Christmas trees, Chandelier-like hangings that shine like the stars.
I think properties with large foyers and high ceilings should pick a leaf from Watoto on how to pull off great Christmas decor.
The imposing landmark of Kampala city that is Sheraton Hotel is as simple as can be. But simple usually tends to be classy more often than not.
The Christmas lights grace the tall palm trees in the front yard of the hotel. But they didn’t stop there. They have erected Christmas artwork and topped it up with Santa in a tiny pickup truck full of gifts for the little ones of Kampala city. The view from the expansive garden downhill is breathtaking.
Other than Acacia Mall, almost all the malls around Kisementi in Kamwokya shine bright like the star that led the wise men from the East to Jesus. But down town is not muted either. While the latter lights might be more haphazard, hanging like tendrils and creeping plants over a high wall, they are there nonetheless. The whole of the Nakasero-Market area and the surrounding streets shines like New York City.
For some reason, the lights in Kampala are very muted this year.
Kampala’s real estate has left so much to be desired this year. Maybe we should all pitch in next year and bring back the explosive Christmas mood of yesteryears.