It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

Store display in Fortnum & Masons

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been playing the remember when game here in Chez Tracey. You see it’s two years since we were on our mega roadtrip around the UK, and every day another memory is popping up on the Timehop app on my phone.

One of the strongest memories we all have of that trip is just how much we enjoyed the lead up to Christmas over there. Especially in London. It was somehow more, I don’t know, how I’d imagined that Christmas would be.

It wasn’t just that it was grey and cold, or dark so early, it was also the smells, the lights, the decorations, the…you know what? I think I’ll need to list them all…

The Christmas markets

We were debating the other day which one we enjoyed the most – the one in Edinburgh with the carousel bar, or the one in London along Southbank…or maybe the one in Bath?

Edinburgh Christmas markets
Edinburgh Christmas Markets

One thing we all agree on is that the best part of the markets was the mulled wine and yummy things – and all the Christmas jumpers.

Christmas jumpers

at Notting Hill market

They really are a thing. There’s even a “wear your Christmas jumper to work day” day. Sarah bought 2 jumpers – which she actually does wear at Christmas…with the air conditioning going, of course. She really wishes she’d bought this one.

It’s not just about wearing Christmas sweaters though, check out this guy who had a whole suit made from Christmas themed fabric.

The ads

Oh how we loved the Christmassy ads. It wasn’t just the fabulous ads the major department stores do, but the ones you’d see on the Tube that would have you singing the tune with all the wrong words.

And my favourite? This one for Mamma Mia.

The store windows

So so so gloriously, luxuriously, decadently seasonal.

And then you step inside the store. Words and pictures just can’t convey how it feels to walk into these stores. It’s completely overwhelming.

As for the money that some people spend on things, well, that’s just ludicrous. We had a competition in Fortnum and Masons to find the most expensive pack of Christmas crackers. The ones in the pic below were 1000GBP – and not a paper hat or daggy joke in sight. Speaking of which, what do you call 50 penguins in Trafalgar Square? Lost.

The thing is, there’s only 6 crackers in this box and if you can afford to spend this on crackers, I’d like to bet that you’re having more than 6 people for Christmas lunch…just saying.

Then there was this heirloom advent calendar that for a ridiculous amount of cash you could pass down through generations of silver spoon-fed little darlings.

The lights and street decorations

Covent Garden

London does this well…really well.

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of AgeLifestyle Fifty  and, of course, me.

29 Replies to “It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…”

  1. It would be amazing to spend Christmas in a Northern Hemisphere country. I like the sound of mulled wine and daggy Chrissy jumpers! We holidayed in Canada just after Christmas one year and the shops were still full of Christmassy stuff, plus it was snowing. So magical! #TeamLovinLife

    1. We were so tempted to stay that year for Christmas – Grant’s family is in Gloucester, although I think we would have had Christmas itself in London if we’d stayed. As it was, we were glad we had the lead up there & the day itself at home in Aus. Canada would be fabulous at that time of year too.

  2. Christmas in Europe or North America is a wonderful experience Jo. We spent 2004 Christmas in London and I just felt the festive mood everywhere. I love the way in Europe the little villages and towns decorate their streets with lights. Australia being so hot gives us a different type of Christmas day, that is why this year I started having a Christmas in July so we could enjoy the ‘traditional’ food and cold weather. (although it never really gets that cold in Qld!). Hubby even made mulled wine for the first time and it was delish!

    1. I love the idea of Christmas in July – although before we spent that December in the UK I never really got the concept. I get it now…although as you say, we’re still pretty much in t-shirts in July here in SE Qld!

  3. Glad you experienced it in London., Jo. I’ve been to warmer places in December. It’s definitely much more festive and wonderful to be in Canada at Christmas time. I’m loving it right now.

  4. It’s my dream to one day experience a white Christmas. It’s on my bucket list actually. It’s how it is in all the movies. Rarely, if ever, do you see a Christmas movie where it’s hot and humid like our Christmas is! One day I will do this – I hope! #TeamLovinLife

    1. One day you absolutely will…although as the Pet Shop Boys sang (and they are one of my Christmas carol gurus): ‘It doesn’t often snow at Christmas, the way it’s meant to do”

  5. Ahh, I love Christmas in England – but funnily enough now I live in Australia, I don’t yearn for it. Yes, the build up and razmatazz is wonderful but I also think that the commercialism factor is bumped up several notches. I don’t feel the necessity to buy buy buy in WA (sorry Australian retailers 😉 but in England it seems far more competitive to keep up with the Jones’s whether you want to or not. I agree though, London at Christmas, the lights, the stores, the cold and hopefully a sprinkling of snow – can’t beat it really 🙂

  6. Until about the age of 10, every year I was sent a Christmas themed jumper from my grandparents in Scotland. No matter how hot it was on christmas day, I would always wear the jumper. Often, it was over the top of togs or shorts that I had received that day. With all of our extended family oversea’s my social media feed is full of winter wonderland christmas pics, that I would love to experience.

    1. Lol. That made me giggle. Sarah is 19 now, and we’re in Queensland, but she’ll wear it over her shorts for the present opening – with the air con on.

  7. I can’t believe it’s been two years since that visit. Wow!

    I love the ugly rashies they bring out here for Christmas. Not sure I’d bother getting one but I love the idea… kinda like our version of the ugly Xmas jumper!

  8. I love Christmas and it’s great you have so many good memories of visiting London. I am bad in that I go so often for work I don’t actually see it anymore.

    1. I was always like that with Sydney. I’d see tourists ooohing and aaahing over the harbour & the bridge & Opera House when I saw it every day. I had to stop every so often and remind myself – especially on a blue sparkly day – just how gorgeous it was.

  9. What a wonderful thing it must have been to experience Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. Loved seeing the pics AND reading your comments!! D xx

  10. Hello Jo, Yikes sorreee, I was trying to find the most recent Lovin’ Life linkup post but not sure where to go, and the link from your comment on my site takes me somewhere completely different. But anyway, here I am, wishing and hoping for a cold Christmas one of these years, and loving the memories you’ve brought back for me (ahem again!) in this post. Hope you are well. x

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