Christmas in Sri Lanka certainly feels different than Christmas in a cold climate.
Having lived in Russia for many years, I continue to marvel at the pleasure of wearing shorts, swimming outdoors, and dining al fresco in winter.
Since the weather in Negombo does not feel like winter, we thought it was especially important to do something to bring a holiday spirit to Waterland. To do that, we placed wreaths on the villa doors, positioned a poinsettia bouquet at the end of the reception desk, hung Christmas ornaments, and displayed a Christmas tree.
Not ones to embrace the ordinary, we sought to do things with flair and environmental responsibility. Accordingly, instead of cutting down a tree, we constructed our Christmas tree from petrified wood we collected at our local beach.
To provide some humor, a Santa was tucked into the base of the Christmas tree and shimmering blue Christmas balls were hung on the traditional Sri Lankan masks that line one of the walls in the restaurant.
Freshly cut birds of paradise were then placed under our resident "bird in paradise", a fun double entendre and also a reminder of our tropical setting.
Our staff fostered the holiday spirit by wearing Santa hats.