The tradition to put Christmas gifts in a sock dates back many years. They say that Santa Claus accidentally dropped some gold coins whilst getting out of a chimney. Could he not think of any other way to delivery gifts secretly, maybe his brain was frozen. Nevertheless, thanks to his clumsiness, a popular tradition was created. Santa’s gold coins, as luck would have it, dropped into a sock drying on the fireplace. Children from all over the country fell in love with idea about a sock filled with gold coins. Since then the fireplace became, not only the center of the home, giving it a warm and a cozy atmosphere but also a magic place where gifts appear on Christmas night.
All family members buy gifts for each other, as do friends and relatives. I asked a friend of mine how many gifts she was buying this year. “More than thirty” She answered with a long sigh… There are many similar traditions in different countries all around the world that compare equally with the buying of presents…
All this fuss about buying presents begins in the middle of November, exactly when the Christmas lights are turn on in all the towns and cities around England. This is the official start of the Christmas marathon of shopping. Everyone rushes out to buy gifts, some good others useful, usually beautiful expensive yet most unnecessary or ridiculous.
In London all the main streets turn into a magical world especially for children. Unique fantastic different designs are laid every year in shop windows of department stores like Selfridges, Debenhams, Harrods, and John Lewis. You can see magical worlds, from Peter Pan who seems like he has just arrived with his fairies from Kensington Park. Imaginative aliens with strange bodies and protruding eyes, Princesses that look like they came from the “Miss World” or the “Miss Galaxy” beauty contests, Snow white ponies carrying decorated Christmas trees on sledges and lots of other different and creative works from various designers.
In Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street the fantastic hanging lights and the illuminated shop fronts attract tourists from all over the world. It feels like the more is spent on decorations, the more buyers will end up spending from their fat wallets and credit cards.
The traditional Christmas Winter Wonderland fair in Hyde Park starts on November the 23rd. Entertainments of every kind will be there to welcome the visitor. Funfairs with big wheels and swings to an ice skating rink and cafes with tasty food, warm drinks and lots of different gift shops selling a variety of presents.
The town of Reading in the County of Berkshire, as well as many other cities, turned on its Christmas lights with some amazing and glorious fireworks. Thousands of inhabitants and guests gather on the riverside, the most beautiful part of the town center every year to witness this wonderful extravaganza.
Bright Christmas lights adorn most streets of every city.
Also many English people like to decorate their houses with lots of decorations. In the evening, you cannot make out the house, in the glare of the brightly illuminated balls, deer, Father Christmas, stars and Christmas trees.
Christmas and the New Year holidays are the brightest and best loved days of the year, maybe because they are a warm and joyful celebration during the cold season. As in the summer it is much nicer to be among joyful greens and flowers in the warmth of the sun. Also during winter’s short days and long nights we like to decorate our surroundings with multi coloured lights and warm fires.
During our childhood most of us always expected something unusual at this time of the year because we believed in the fairy tale, and when we are finally adults, in our hearts we still trust in miracles.
The holiday has now begun! Miracles are still to come!