…it’s Xmas time! Ho Ho Ho….|GianFranco Belloli|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2020.01.07
  • …it’s Xmas time! Ho Ho Ho….
Living abroad has many positive aspects: you learn and practice a foreign language every day, you know different people, you have the opportunity to learn a different culture and to improve yourself every day.
Moreover, living abroad gives you the opportunity to experience the holidays differently, especially Christmas.
And in London it's beautiful!
The Christmas season always begins on November 1st, with the ‘lighting’ ceremony on the famous Oxford Street.
But in some stores, such as the Selfridges department store, the Christmas department is set up from mid-August!
It seems absurd, but it is actually an intelligent marketing gimmick, because many tourists who visit London, especially if they come from distant countries, will hardly have the opportunity to return to the city to do some Christmas shopping.
Precisely for this reason they introduced early Christmas, during which customers can buy decorations gadgets and ornaments and enjoy, even for just five minutes, the spirit of Christmas in London!
In the city there are so many things to do in this period, first of all shopping!
In fact, the shops almost seem to compete with one another to create the best shop windows enriched with various decorations.
You will certainly not miss the gift ideas here.
But if you want to experience Christmas as a true Londoner you cannot but embrace these new experiences:

1. Wear a Christmas sweater
It is perhaps the anti-glamour par excellence. It's not pretty, even if there are so many models, patterns and colours, including the one with the colourful lights incorporated!
But here in England it is a tradition, so much so that there is the Christmas Jumper Day, a day (usually one or two weeks before Christmas) in which everyone wears a Christmas sweater, even to go to work! It is actually an event organized by charities to raise funds and celebrate the spirit of the holiday.
You will therefore have a good opportunity to wear the most Christmassy sweater in the world and feel part of the British culture!

2. The Southbank Christmas Market
It is an unmissable market, where, especially on weekends, English of all ages flock to walk on the banks of the Thames.
Accompanied by Christmas carols, lights and stalls to buy exclusive handmade gifts.
The little ones can have fun in the horse rides reminiscent of the Mary Poppins movie and eat cotton candy.

3. Christmas style afternoon tea
When the cold becomes too pungent, sitting down to drink an English Tea is the perfect solution.
There are several places in London where, together with tea, they will bring you many types of sweets and savoury snacks like canapés with spreadable cheese and salmon, quiche and savoury croissants filled with cheese and ham. Around Christmas time, the tea rooms are usually decorated and they often adapt their ‘menus’ to a perfect holiday style.

4. Ice skating at Somerset House
Located next to the Temple subway station, not far from Trafalgar Square, one of the largest skating rinks in the city is set up every year.
It is a tradition for every Londoner to come and skate at least once here over the Christmas period. Inside the building there is always an art exhibition, so when you're done with the fun, you can take the opportunity to take a tour of the museum.

5. Participate in the lighting of the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square
This tree is the largest in the city.
Every year it is set up right here and is a traditional symbol for the English, with very ancient origins.
The tree is donated each year by the Norwegian Government as a gesture of thanks to the British people for helping the country during the Second World War and is always decorated in Norwegian style.


…and finally, if you are in the city for December 31st, don't miss the fireworks at the London Eye!
Despite the crowd and the long wait in the cold, it's really worth it!



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  • GianFranco Belloli
  • AgeMouse(NEZUMI)
  • GenderMale
  • Jobblogger/musician

I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

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