I’ve just got back from holiday so I missed Christmas officially arriving in Kingston the other week.
I’m usually very grouchy about Christmas starting so early. However who can blame the shops for doing everything they can to cash in after such a tough year? And while we’re on that subject - how very sad to see closing down posters instead of Christmas baubles at Borders. I have very happy memories of queuing for my Harry Potter books at midnight there.
I have to admit that Kingston is looking very festive indeed. And it manages it without looking too tacky. The market square looks great and the mugs of mulled wine are a very welcome distraction to Christmas shopping!
The Bentall centre decorations are tasteful and I’m even pleased to see the bears are back! However...
There I was taking photos of the decorations for this blog post when I was nabbed by the Centre’s security. I was politely asked not to take any more pictures. When I asked why, I was told it was for safety reasons. Er, really?
I could sort of understand had I been pointing the camera at the children around the bears, but I was snapping the baubles hanging from the ceiling. What a world we live in when a tiny little woman like me can be suspected of taking photos in a shopping mall for dubious purposes!
There's lots more happening in Kingston to keep us amused before Christmas. On Thursdays 3 and 10 December there's the Interactive Light Show in Clarence Street between 4.30 and 8pm. Apparently you can create your own pattern of lights and images by walking across the special floor.
Shiver me timbers! Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is this year's Christmas show at the Rose Theatre from 11 December to 9 January 2010.
If you prefer your favourite Christmas tunes sung by humans rather than bears, listen out for the Princess Alice Hospice Choir. They'll be performing at the Bentall Centre on 5 December.
Both Bentalls and John Lewis have lots going on too. Bentalls have demonstrations and events including a book signing by TV's Hairy Bikers. John Lewis have children's entertainment, choral singers, and Borough Brass will be performing carols in the store every Sunday from now until Christmas.
Father Christmas manages to be on the third floor of Bentalls, roaming around John Lewis on 19 and 23 December, and in his grotto among the poinsettias in my local garden centre.
He arrived at the latter by er, vintage fire engine... I can just imagine the conversation back in the summer:
“What do you mean all the sleighs have gone? I told you to get onto it earlier. What else have they got that’s red?”
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