You Better Watch Out: Artist’s limited-edition Christmas cards feature flaming mall holiday display

A limited edition Christmas card depicting a mall employee trying to extinguish a flaming Christmas tree last month. Photo via Facebook.
A limited edition Christmas card depicting a mall employee trying to extinguish a flaming Christmas tree last month. Photo via Facebook.

As we enter the festive Christmas season, our thoughts naturally turn towards sharing tidings of joy, peace, and good cheer with friends and loved ones — and nothing says “joy, peace, and good cheer” quite like a Christmas card depicting a Hong Kong mall employee frantically trying to extinguish an enormous flaming Christmas tree.

The cards are the work of local artist Cheng Ting Ting, and feature the burning four-story Christmas tree that was set alight by a protester’s petrol bomb at the Festival Walk shopping mall last month in apparent retribution for the mall allowing police to make arrests on its premises. (The incident likely played a factor in a reported downturn in spending on holiday decorations in the city’s malls this year.)

The cards also feature reworked, protest-related lyrics to the classic Christmas Carol “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.”

You’d better watch out
You’d better not die
Better stay in
I’m telling you why
Carrie Lam is coming to town.

She’s making a list
Xi’s checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice
Carrie Lam is coming to town.


In a Facebook post, the artist explained that she got the idea of creating the limited-edition cards after seeing the image circulating online, along with other posts featuring the reimagined lyrics.

“Give me chicken and I’ll give you soy sauce,” Cheng wrote, using a Cantonese saying for an unequal, but still mutually beneficial exchange, adding, “give me money and I’ll gift you a card.”

She also noted in a post that the seeming futility of the man attempting put out the gigantic conflagration with a tiny hose was an apt metaphor for the Hong Kong government’s efforts to deal with the long-running protests.

Cheng told Stand News that the card was intended to attract a Western crowd, and to let them know that they too can contribute to Hong Kong’s protest movement.

To snag one the cards — which aren’t exactly available down at your local greeting card shop — you gotta jump through a few extra hoops.

First, you need to make a donation to FREEHKUSA, an organization supporting the protest movement whose proceeds go towards buying gear and supplies for frontline protesters. Black and white prints require a donation of at least HK$225 (about US$28), while color ones require a donation of at least HK$525 (about $65 USD).

Once you’ve made your donation, take a screenshot the receipt and send it to the artist via email, Twitter, or Facebook, and the card will be sent your way.

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