One of the many things I miss about living in the UK is the Christmas vibe. British Christmas is like no other. The weather (despite as miserable as it is), the Christmas ads, markets, displays, ice rinks, they all contribute to the Christmas experience. Here’s why Christmas in the UK is so magical.
I actually started writing this post back in 2015, but I never got round to posting it because of timing. Because who would want to read something about Christmas in July, right? (I mean I would, but…ANYWAY.) I guess now it’s finally a good time to post this!
The beginning of November means that preparation for Christmas is finally ‘allowed’ *frantically look for my Christmas playlist*. And from Instagram I learned that London (as always) have been putting up Christmas lights and decorations since last month (super jealous right now). So I think this is a good time to finally finish off writing this post and publish it!!
As I have mentioned before, Christmas in Hong Kong is usually a bit lame compared with London (sorry not sorry). I guess it’s because in the UK, Christmas is about spending time with family, it’s like what we do in Lunar New Year in Hong Kong. So people generally would spend more time and effort to prepare for the festive season. But in Hong Kong we get way too many festivals throughout the year, so Christmas is just another reason to feast and spend money. Is it just me? But I felt like Hong Kong was never as festive as it does in the UK, maybe because it’s not really cold… Anyway, this is where I reminisce about Christmas in the UK!
Starting from mid-October, Christmas decorations all over the city would be put up, and by the beginning of November you’ll see Christmas ads from John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, M&S, all trending on your Facebook feed. Sh*t is getting real. Oh, have I told you how much I LOOOVE Christmas ads? I never knew such a thing existed before I moved to the UK. Why don’t we have those in Hong Kong and everywhere else in the world too? I really love that at the end of the ad you’re bound to exhale an ‘awww’. It just gives you that warm festive feeling. (The 2015 John Lewis one is still my favourite!)
Then you’ll hear about the different ice skating rinks opening around the city, and every corner of the city will be slowly filled with Christmas displays.
With the daylight saving officially ending in the end of October, November is when you cannot lie to yourself anymore that winter is quickly approaching. The weather gets more chilly day by day, and the days are getting shorter and shorter everyday. And miserable weather is tagging along, so is your mood – you are just as miserable as the miserable lovely British weather. That’s why Christmas lights are so important in the UK. Seeing them all light up is like seeing the oasis in a desert, except this is…lights in the dark. I’m not exaggerating at all. It really felt like life is hopeful again seeing all the streets get light up. Another thing that I enjoyed was seeing all the shop windows getting their special Christmas displays, and restaurants getting their winter makeover.
Christmas market is one of the things I miss the most about Christmas from the UK. I haven’t been to a market in Germany (would LOVE to!), but British ones are good enough for now. (Honestly why don’t we get big Christmas markets in Hong Kong like they do in London?????) Of course everyone knows about Winter Wonderland, and we all know how much of a rip-off it is. But it’s always nice to just walk around and feel the festive vibe. And the main reason that I go there is for the mulled wine and churros! Seriously, having a bag of warm churros in your hands while walking in the Winter Wonderland is such a hygge feeling.
Have you started your Christmas preparations yet? What’s the Christmas decor like where you are? Leave a comment below! 🙂
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Omg I’m loving these sparkly decorations. Each street is so unique yet gorgeous. It’s like Indian diwali in London.. Haha.. I so want to be in London on Christmas.. Someday I surely will
Great post! Sure makes me miss christmas in England too (now living in NL).
I moved from just outside London to America and this post made me go all warm and fuzzy inside, I miss home so much! London does Christmas so well <3
So much nostalgia from this post! I spent a year studying abroad in London and I loved how soon decorations and lights went up – definitely helped me cope with those cloudy/dark days. There is nothing quite like London during the holiday season, I miss it terribly! Thank you for sharing – your photos are making me want to jet across the pond right now!