Christmas starts really early here in London. I mean really, really early. August had the major superstores reveal their Christmas goodies. August for goodness sake, but the marketing is for tourists who want to take home some ‘genuine’ English goodies. We begin early.
By October the ‘Love Actually’ nativity plays commence. Trees to be bought before mid December or you will lose out. And I held out, looking upwards and sideways until the first of December and then … whoosh … look at the lights mama, look at the baubles, the santas, the sleighs and let’s face it, London does Christmas like crack. Spectacular high Christmas situation.
Totally on board. Revelling in it. Rolling in it. I am every morning mince pies with coffee ( a la eggnog), till the mandatory Christmas movies at night. The shop windows ooze Christmas, tinsel everywhere. Bus drivers with antlers, cash up ladies with sparkles. We wear them on our nails, put on the Christmas jumpers and still, yes still, take a minute to write Christmas cards. Supporting charities left and right, the homeless, the donkeys, Crisis Christmas. Bake muffins with Rudolf at the fore, and it’s time to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to those travelling to families in Australia, America, South Africa and beyond.
Christmas advertisements done. Which one won? To the presents. Ummm ..
What are you planning present wise? For me, goes like this:
- One for each that gives back. A donation to charity.
- One for each to learn. A subscription to a worthy education.
- One for each to use. Practical stuff. Coffee machine, mug and such.
- One for play. Happy lipstick, nail colour, make-up or cologne.
- One for remembering. Candle to light the way from past till now.
- One for the personal. A gift that only they will understand.
- One for love. The maverick one. To show how much I love them.
And what do I want in return?
- Christmas with family.
- Knowing I have thought of those who will not be with family.
- Christmas mass and carols in the cold. With mulled wine.
- A diary to make plans for time at the beach.
- Blue eyeshadow to defy those who think I am past blue eyeshadow.
- Wine for a year.
- Time in Paris.
- Cashmere in abundance.
- Diptique candles for the remembering.
- Lots and lots and lots of hugging.
- Sweet whispers from lovers.
Not much actually.
And it is done. The food will follow and the bellies will groan, I can so overdose on the party food (come on, we do it once a year) and make all those resolutions I am sure to break later.
Some of my loved ones hit the naughty list this year … mmm … what to do about this? Naughty or nice, grinch or Christmas fairy – I am in the mood for forgiving, as one does at Christmas, and so presents for everyone!
Truth be told. When I really give into the spirit of Christmas, London has given me all the presents I need. I am a child with light infatuation. Regent Street, Oxford street, the windows of Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges. Winter wonderland, ice-rink fantasies. The reflection of Christmas on the river Thames – cannot describe the wonder of it all. And I am recipient of all the presents I need, I am with my family in the wonder of Christmas in London.
Two weeks to go – what an explosion of goodwill, love and kindness. Thank you bus driver for wearing your reindeer jumper, the ringing of the bell on the corner, the every shop getting into the spirit. Magical Christmas, it stuns and elates, heartens and thrills – as my family takes it all in, sings a carol, lights a candle and wishes every friend, every stranger good will, it is a Merry Christmas indeed. Presents done, all has won, all is good …
Images londontown. pintrest, bjournal