Just 10 days to go until Christmas. Back in Seattle at this time of year I’d typically be saying things like, “I can’t believe it’s already Christmas!” or “It doesn’t feel like Christmastime yet, I’m not ready.” Well let me share with you a little story about Christmas in London: IT’S EVERYWHERE.
Thankfully, I’m a big fan of holidays because Christmas decorations, holiday shops, and advertising have been everywhere since mid-October. That’s right, October.
To share a glimpse of what I see on a daily basis let’s take a walk down a virtual Candy Cane Lane:
Whoa, keeping up with the Joneses much, Covent Garden? Massive ornaments hanging from the ceiling and Christmas tree in the background. Not pictured, the interactive Lego display, carolers, mulled wine stands, and wreaths:
Something called “Frostival” is advertised at a tube stop. There are also advertisements for ice skating rinks, Christmas ballet and orchestra tickets, signs to shop early for Christmas dinner, the list goes on…:
Now a special section dedicated to the department stores in this town. It goes beyond window displays, these stores have entire floors dedicated to Christmas. First stop, Harrods:
For £60,000 your child can have their own mini Range Rover. Reserved parking spot sold separately. I found this in the toy section. It’s a toy! I wonder if I could drive it to work and avoid the tube traffic?
Onto another major department store here, Selfridges. This is like Nordstrom on steroids. There are stores inside of this store, including a Starbucks. Like a little piece of heaven on Oxford Street. Focus! Back to Christmas, they also transform their 4th floor into Christmas mania:
Christmas crackers are a tradition I’m learning about this year. Insider tip: there’s no cracker inside. These are like the Rolls Royce of Christmas crackers at Selfridges with a fancy surprise once you pull them apart to reveal what’s inside.
And this is my favorite department store of all, Liberty. If you look closely you can see the trees and wreaths adorning the building. Inside it’s even more beautiful but I was too busy “oohing” and “ahhing” to take any photos.
So as much as I miss my family this time of year, the upside of being in London is experiencing the magic of Christmas and the holiday spirit here. Every single store from the grocery store to the department stores to the corner convenience shop puts effort into being festive. I still want to visit the Christmas Markets in Hyde Park and Southwark. I’ll report back when I do!