And just like that, Christmas is both around the corner and on every corner – and I really love London.
Suddenly, and just like that.
I think London was born for Christmastime, I really do. Wreathes tied to the handles of century-old doors, strands of pearly lights glistening in the trees – replacing the grey winter light with a calming, opaline glow. And in the embracing swirl of lights and Christmas trees, and Nat King Cole’s voice floating through doorways as I walk to the tube, my coat gripped tightly around me to keep out the cold, I forget to notice the grime. I don’t mind the crowds on the tube so much. And the thought of walking through a crowded Christmas market on the weekend with two of my best friends fills me with joy. I dream about the simple things – imagining holding Will’s warm hand on a wintry walk, wrapping gifts in newspaper with coloured ribbon.
And hints of the impending holiday are truly all around. A baby cloaked in red on the tube. The old man at the bus stop humming ‘Silent Night’ (oh, how happy that makes my heart.) On every third person, a tartan scarf – an explosion of greens, reds and yellows and gold. And a long line of Christmas trees lining Inverness Street, sitting one by one, patiently – reminding us it’s almost here.
I wish I could take photographs of it all to share with you, and maybe I will – the beautiful, handmade wreaths hanging from the flower market outside the station, and the bunches of mistletoe hung happily above a yellow doorway. Yet I know my pictures could never do justice to the scent of cinnamon humming through the air and the particular rosy glow in the cheeks on a cold day. So you shall have to take a walk somewhere festive that you love, and tell me all about it, pretty please!
* photograph of Christmas decor in Regensburg, Germany.