London is one of my favorite cities to spend Christmas in. Whether it snows or dawns a clear blue sky there is something magical in December days spent under strings of fairy lights. After years living in England’s capital city, I’ve realised we’ve unintentionally created a host of traditions. These apply any where in the world, but they always say ‘write about what you know…’
As an early Christmas present, the image for this post magically became a printable list for your wallet. Happy Merry Christmas.
1. Sing to live Christmas Carols in an achingly beautiful setting.
Every year we like to catch a carol performance, but one of the most memorable were the angelic carols in St Pauls Cathedral. Completely free, listening to the complex harmonies echo throughout the incredible building, it’s an experience that is totally worth lining up at least an hour early.
2. Take part, or watch the annual Christmas Pudding Race.
Raising funds for Cancer Research UK, the annual Christmas Pudding Race pits eager groups of costumed Christmas dinners/reindeer/monsters/elves/shepherds/trees against each other for a prize presented by the *ahem* Queen.
3. Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Hang up as many fairy light strings and Christmas decorations as you heart desires/wallets stretches/you can fit. Celebrate with festive nibbles and carols in a cozy home. Preferably not a strangers, they may not appreciate it.
4. Spend time with people you love
A pretty simple premise really, my favourite way is usually via the medium of a DIY afternoon tea, a glass of mulled drink – or a recent addition – Thanksgiving feasts full of laughter.
5. Admire Christmas lights & ornate windows
Spend at least an evening seeing all of the Christmas lights and beautiful shop windows; the usual suspects of Oxford Street, Fortnum and Mason, Regent Street, Selfridges, but find a few quirky ones – Carnaby Street, Peter Jones, Marylebone High Street, small shops… A glass of mulled wine or cider is optional, but a Mince Pie isn’t, sorry.
6. Go to a Pantomime
It doesn’t matter what age you are, promise me you’ll see one this year. Shouting “it’s behind you!” whilst howling with laughter at the smutty but very
tongue-in-cheek jokes are obligatory.
7. Have a least 3 wrapping paper roll sword fights
…and shouting pirate terms at your opponent are essential.
8. Wear Christmas Jumpers and exchange Secret Santa gifts
Especially important if you work in an office, take a moment to seize some hilarious irrelevant woolen outerwear. Participating in a secret santa present exchange is always good value, and can iron out a few day to day tensions… or just buy something wildly inappropriate.
9. Toast the Queen’s speech
Early on Christmas Day afternoon, the dulcet tones of the reigning British monarch will spread throughout the land. Take 15 minutes out of cooking and eating your meal to salute her longevity. Then hurriedly YouTube the alternative Christmas speech.
10. Show selfless kindness
We seem to focus on this more often at this time of year, but stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something you won’t be thanked for but gives you a warm fuzzy feeling is imperative.
Do you do ‘must do’ activities or make a list at this time of year?