THE Christmas trees are all lit and everyone is in a festive mood.

Along with the tradition of officially marking the start of the joyous season, the hotels and malls are lighting up the lives–and perhaps the future-of as many people as they can by extending their support through fundraising events.

This Yuletide Season, here are some of the good souls who are paying it forward and offering fine spreads to make everyone else’s holidays a truly festive one.

“Seasons of Love” at the Waterfront Insular Hotel

A 15-foot tree decked in classic red and green was unveiled. There was no Santa by the tree but in his place was a giant teddy bear on a bench. It was the most photographed figure of the night, for the children of the House of Hope Foundation, home for children with cancer who are the beneficiary of this year’s fundraising program of the hotel. The partnership has been ongoing for nine years now.

In the spirit of giving, Bryan Lasala, hotel manager for Waterfront, says that the real Santa is in all of us whenever we give the light of love to those who need it most. Thus, the hotel is engaging everyone to take part in filling the tree with miniature bears which cost P250. The bears and part of the proceeds will be donated to the HoH Foundation.

Waterfront in its Santa suit treated the kids with cancer to a delightful dinner and fun show.

On Christmas and New Year’s eves, there are feasting and fun. The chef’s team will create a splendid spread for everyone. The latter’s countdown to 2017 will have the Tribal Fusion theme.

Traditions at Park Inn by Radisson Davao

Spotlight was also on the children at Park Inn’s lighting ceremony with Elizabeth Sy, President of SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, and Emelyn Rosales, hotel manager, welcoming their event’s VIPs from the Love the Children Foundation, a care institution for orphans, abandoned, neglected, children of widows in distressed situation and indigent families. Together, they lit the hotel’s holiday tree decked in green, gold and red accents, reminiscent of a classic Christmas motif.

The children were treated to a special holiday dinner party and were handed presents.

To everyone, Ms. Rosales expressed “We have prepared a whole lot of exciting festive offers for all of you. We invite you to celebrate your Christmas season and New Year celebrations with us.”

Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will be feasts with traditional holiday fare, but watch out for the dessert spread. The confections will surely make you smile and jumpstart your new year on a sweet note.

Seda in silver and blue

“The theme for this year’s holiday season is snowflakes with touches of blue, white, and silver. A color scheme that best describes the season and the warmth of love and giving we celebrate,” said the hotel manager, Kennedy Kapulong.

For three years now, since the hotel opened, the children under the support of the DSWD are the partners in the annual Toy and Book Drive of Seda. The presents were handed to the kids at the Christmas party hosted for them by the hotel.

For everyone else, Seda’s noche buena and medya noche spread will have the all-time favorites—some with a “happy” twist, like bacon-wrapped embutido.

For dessert, start with the ube crinkles then work your way to the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Christmas Tree, everything on the dessert table is exciting, delicious and lightly sweetened, but enough to give you the sugar high to get you through the night of partying.

Big fun at the SM Malls

If you want giant Christmas trees, the SM malls are the places you need to be. It’s not only huge, but the themes—Nutcracker at SM City and Mickey Mouse and the Disney Christmas Village at SM Lanang Premier—are very familiar and close to everyone’s hearts that it’ll make everyone smile regardless of their age.

Clara and her Prince and Mickey Mouse’s presence elated everyone including the event’s guests of honor—the children supported by the malls’ charity program, the SM Bears of Joy: the communities identified by DSWD and CSSDO for SM City and for SM Lanang Premier, the House of Hope, Ibula Day Care Center and Tebow Cure.