There’s nothing more festive as London at Christmas time as the city really knows how to dress up for the holidays, decking herself out in festive fluorescent finery (#saythatthreetimesfast!) and celebrating the season with markets, Christmas pudding, and cheer aplenty. Christmas and Hanukkah decorations start appearing in store aisles in October and the grand daddy of holiday lights displays up and down the two mile corridor of Oxford Street’s busy shop windows are officially lit up on November 15th. One of my favorite holiday things to do in London is simply taking my local #6 bus down to Oxford Circus and sitting up on the top deck to admire all the lights and dressed-up shop window displays.
Londoners and holiday visitors can be found strolling through Christmas markets such as those at Southbank Centre, Winter Wonderland, and London Bridge or cutting up some ice at the temporary ice rinks set up at Natural History Museum, Somerset House, and Winterville in Victoria Park. Pop-up cinemas showing holiday perennial favorites such as Love Actually and A Christmas Story are filled with those escaping the cold to laugh along to “Ralphie, you’ll shoot your eye out!” while warming up with mulled wine and mince pies and the Christmas tree maze at Vauxhall has probably disoriented more than a few people.
The annual lights display at Kew Gardens dazzles many as well as the twinkling lights strung across Carnaby Street as throngs of shoppers hurry through laden with shopping bags. Another seasonal favorite? The Carols by Candlelight performances at the famous Royal Albert Hall where Dan and I will be heading to tonight!
Another ubiquitous sighting this time of year? The ugly Christmas jumper of course!