Here are our picks for Christmas 2017. Where can I watch a Cockney’tivity? Do Santa chatbots exist? And is the largest Christmas store really over 7.35 acres? Find out here…
Christmas windows to mesmerise
It’s great to see brands across the globe bringing a perfect amount of yuletide magic to the High Street with imaginative window displays. However, from the impressive treat-filled snow globes at Hudson’s Bay, Toronto, to the nostalgic scenes created by Myer, Australia, and the atmospheric North Pole-scapes at Selfridges, London, department stores continue to lead the way with truly captivating displays. Over in Paris, Galeries Lafayette has created a chic ice kingdom fit for a snow queen and across the Atlantic in New York, Saks Fifth Avenue pays tribute to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – the illustrative backdrops could be straight out of a storybook!
A personal Christmas
Personalisation is a simple way to make anything feel special. For luxe presents, fashion brand Coach has an excellent design-your-own-bag service called Coach Create, and London perfumery Bloom allows you to concoct your own unique fragrance for a loved one (or yourself). Head down to Regent Street’s customisation event at 70 Mortimer Street every weekend in December for leather-embossing, bespoke cards and much more. However, the ultimate marketplace for one-of-a-kind items is Etsy.com – this e-commerce site sells everything from personalised silk pyjamas to Christmas decorations you can have emblazoned with family photos.
Christmas at your convenience
Sometimes the holidays can be overwhelming, these hacks aim to bring a bit more ease to the season. Birchbox provides an effortless way to create a stellar present; pick 5 beauty treats of your choice out of a vast range for just £15, they are then packaged in a decorative box – simple! Don’t spend hours wrapping your gifts when you can get Wrapsody to do it for you – they’ll (almost) look good enough not to open! If you’re too lazy to cook over Christmas, Gousto’s Get Together recipe box makes it a little bit easier. The box comes complete with all you need to rustle up a delicious festive meal for family and friends. Taking some of the hassle out of shopping is The Entertainer’s online Santa chatbot – tell him your requirements and a range of suitable gifts will be provided.
Putting a twist on Christmas
It happens every year so why not mix it up a bit! Carnaby Street’s light display brings a Caribbean Carnival to London with illuminated parrots, twinkling hibiscus flowers and a tropical colour palette. If you’re over in Orange County, LA, why not enter the Santa Surfing contest – who said Father Christmas only rides with reindeer? For those that find the traditional nativity passé, a Cockney-themed play, Cockney’tivity — A Very Cockney Christmas, is showing at the North Star pub throughout December. And finally, eschew ubiquitous mulled wine in favour of Absolut Vodka’s seasonal tipple, Extrakt, infused with potent spices like green cardamom, it promises to keep you toasty over the holidays.
’Tis the season to be jolly! Why not ensure your dinner party ends with a bang by offering guests a Fortnum and Mason Imperial Christmas cracker? They’re handmade, stuffed with premium accessories and cost £1,000 for a pack of six! For festive overload there’s no store in the world that’s quite like Bronners, the biggest Christmas shop on earth, in Michigan, USA – it’s a true wonderland of festive delights. Winterville, the London festival, makes a case for next-level Christmases with fake snow, ice skating, horse-drawn carriages and even an immersive Snow Kingdom cinema created by experiential company Backyard Cinema.