Tacky winter wonderlands, lame Father Christmases and try-hard TV ads; bah, humbug, indeed. Struggling to get into the festive mood? Enlist the help of this little lot...
1. Go And See A Really Tall Tree
And the prize for the tallest Christmas tree goes to… London’s Aqua Shard. It gets a bit of a helping hand, situated in the tallest building in the EU, still it’s pretty magnificent to look at. Curated by designer Matthew Williamson and adorned by baubles designed by everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Sienna Miller, you can bid on the delightful decs until 21 Dec (all proceeds go to the Kids Company).
2. Make Your Own Candy (Canes)
OK, it doesn’t have to be that American. Think sugar mice, bonbons and sherbet dips, all old school, delicious, and perfect for homemade stocking fillers if there’s anyone you want to, well, sweeten up this season. Well, it beats trawling out festive cupcakes for the third year running…
The Vintage Sweets Book by Angel Adoree (Octopus Books, £12.99)
3. Raise A Glass – Liberty Style
You’ve been to the gorgeously glam shop, you’ve watched the riveting C4 documentary, now it’s time to raise a toast to the iconic London (and oh-so Christmasy) emporium… by heading to erm, Sketch? Yep, the capital’s quirkiest bar gets a festive cool-over with a newly decorated entrance and alcoves brimming with stylish Liberty products and prints. All the Christma-spiration you’ll need.
4. Walk In The Air (Sort Of)
Why sit at home getting all nostalgic over the TV version with a tin of Quality Street (er, we’ll probably do that anyway) when you could watch a live version The Snowman and The Snowdog at East London’s uber candlelit concert hall, Union Chapel. Razorlight’s Andy Burrows, The London Metropolitan Orchestra and a host of special guests will take to the stage 12-14 December. Stripy PJs optional.
5. Watch (And Eat) A Christmas Film
If you haven’t been to Edible cinema yet, then there’s without doubt, no better time to go than Christmas. Screening the unbelievably underrated 1980s festive classic Trading Places against the backdrop of an edible adventure – the taste of the stolen salmon in Santa’s beard? The feel of a gorilla’s kiss? – Christmas has never been so weird or wonderful.
Head to Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch 14-15 December, or Notting Hill’s Electric Cinema 21-22 December.
Here are 5 more amazingly cosy places to hangout this winter…