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My 2012 Christmas in London

Getting all the prizes together for our cool Christmas competition on the gapyear.com Facebook page has naturally made me think about my plans for Christmas 2012. 
This year I’ll be spending Christmas in London. I’m a village girl, but moved to the Big Smoke four years ago and have never looked back. And Christmas is my favourie time of year in London, along with spring, summer and autumn of course.
I look forward to seeing the pretty Christmas lights around Angel and St John’s Wood as much as I do the ridiculous ones on Oxford Street and Regent Street. Randomly, they’re Marmite themed this year, some love ’em… 
Down by the Southbank the Winter Festival is all set up, featuring German markets with all their tasty food stands, gluhwein stalls and more Christmas gift stalls than you can shake a candy cane at.

Ice rinks pop up all over the place. Somerset House has disco and club nights on theirs while the one outside the National History Museum and Canary Wharf are more of a family affair.
Of course, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is always popular. Sometimes too popular, as you can’t move for kids at the weekend. Who says Christmas is all about them? For me it’s all about hanging out with my friends in icy London – if you can get to them that is. At the first sign of snow the city comes to a standstill. 
And that’s the time to pull on your fur lined boots and enjoy the city on foot. I love walking around Selfridges and sampling the cosmetics and food samples, making a mental wish list that I’ll most likely forget as soon as I leave the shop.
Pantomimes and seasonal ballets fill the theatres, and the advertisement slots in the Undergound. People hustle and jostle more than usual trying to fit their Christmas shopping on the tube along with all the half cut commuters trying to make their way home from their Christmas parties.
Up on Hampstead Heath anyone in need of some fresh air to blow away the festive cobwebs is bundled up tight against the weathers and chugging on against the winds. The kids are oblivious to it, happily building snowmen or directing their sledges down Parliament Hill.
And the best thing about being in my homeland of London this Christmas is being able to stay indoors watching the snow fall from my window and enjoying warm socks and a Bailey’s in the warmth. 

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