We actually spent the day doing some of our Christmas shopping and going around the shopping centers with huge crowds and Chrimbo songs playing while we set off all the wind up singing snowmen, really had us in the spirit.
As it got dark, it got cold and we actually had the teeniest bit of snow so I mean it was a total Christmas miracle as we dawned our wooly hats, scarfs and big jackets and headed off with the crowds to the town square (very Miracle on 34th Street).
This was what amazed me, the huge amount of people in this quite smallish town, all gathering together to celebrate. The sense of community was really everywhere as all the local businesses had mini stalls set up outside their stores handing out mince pies, mulled wine, hot choco, soup & bread and cakes and so much more it was amazing. We've only lived here two months and it has felt like home from the first week, but this really made us feel like we belonged here as we awkwardly stood looking on at the stalls, people would invite us over to warm up with yummy spiced wine and wished us a Merry Christmas it was so lovely.
As we walked down the street to the market square with our cups of warm soup, passing all the kids playing and Jingle Bells blasting this was when things got really exciting. The crowd started to build and under the wooden gazebo, the most adorable and super talented kids performed amazing hip-hop routines. I mean they were teeny tiny about 5 or 6 years old and popping and locking like JasDeruloulo.
After all the performances, it was time for the big moment and we were actually very lucky to be standing in just the right place as, when the lights did come on, they were stretching above us like a blanket. After getting all the photos of the streets lit up, we watched Santa arrive in an old vintage truck then before the crowds got too hectic we made our way home (via the kebab shop).
It really was a Christmas community and we felt a huge part of it.