We spent Christmas day in Mandalay. Unfortunately, we literally had about 18 hours in Mandalay as it was more of a transit stop for us (we were flying into Bangkok and had to connect via either Mandalay or Yangon to get to Inle Lake).
Ideally, we would have had more time to explore this happening industrial town. Many take full day guided tours on a motorbike or taxi to explore the local monasteries, temples, palace and more.
Given our limited time, we hired a taxi and explored Mandalay Hill – great pagodas and nice views of the sunset. The driver was kind and gave us a chance to explore a view more pagodas along the way.