London is simply built for winter sunshine, incipient precipitation and afternoons lazing by a pub fire and when it come to festivities, London celebrates Christmas wonderfully. December is encrusted with beautiful street light displays, pine bough covered store fronts, carollers echoing on train station platforms and the smell of mulled wine seductively wafting from open pub doors full of chatter.
These are a few of my favourite winter things.. (2014 here) WARNING: Contains many jolly, festive and delicious cliches.
1. Snuggle. Cat, book, blanket, terrible weather outside, cosy socks, festive scarf, lurid Christmas jumper. Perfection.
2. MULL ALL THE THINGS. Cider, wine, cranberry, cocktails, the cat – no wait, that’s going too far. She just needs her Santa hat. Bonus item: Eat (sweet) mince pies for breakfast at least once. Ok, maybe twice.
3. Compare and contrast the Christmas lights strung across each main London shopping street – we usually apply a rating system of between 1 and 5 fairy-light stars ☆☆☆☆☆ Some even have pedalo operators dressed as Santa, playing 40s Christmas carols to grannies, who sing their hearts out through the busy roads. They score extra points…
4. Press my nose to the beautifully ornate department store windows – Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, many along Regent’s Street, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street; but also many of the lesser known – Hatchards, St Christophers Place, Canary Wharf and Old Spitalfields Market.
5. Wake early on foggy days to ramble through our local park, sleep-in all the other mornings. You aren’t doing Winter properly if there isn’t a pillow crease in your cheek at least every other weekend morning (get your mind out of the gutter).
6. Squeal every single time I discover a Christmas Card on our doorstep whilst internally feeling naughty about the recycling.
7. Bake. Sunday afternoons just don’t seem right if there isn’t the fragrance of something sweet in the oven. Cakes, brownies, biscuits (it got so bad the other year I threw an afternoon tea for our family ladies – Mr Kiwi literally only got to eat the crusts before being thrown out of the house.)
Argue the colour scheme for decorating the tree and have complex discussions about how well we felt the last few years went. We then usually haul a Christmas Tree on public transport (This is a task generally carried out by the lovely Mr Kiwi as we don’t have a car, but is always rewarded with warm Christmas Mince Pies and the look of delight on my face (so I’m told)) before decorating said tree with all the ornaments we’ve collected over the years, usually accompanied by mulled cider and reminiscing about the escapades usually involved with getting them.
9. Have a least 3 wrapping paper roll sword fights (shouting pirate terms at your opponent are essential.) Bonus item: Watching the Christmas Pudding Race, held for Cancer Research in Covent Garden.
10. Make snow angels. (Then break open the snow survivial kit I devised years ago, it never fails.)
How about you? What are your festive loves?
Ps. we brainstormed a few extra ideas if you’re a little stuck –
Your favourite Local traditions vs. your favourite Home traditions
Adopting xxxxx (Thanksgiving) as a xxxxx (Kiwi)
Best Christmas Present
Worst Christmas (if the parent’s don’t read your blog)
Must do list in xxxxx
Favourite Christmas food