Community Christmas

Some thoughts on how you can get in the festive mood locally.


With the nights drawing in, the half term holidays and bonfire night behind us, thoughts turn towards Christmas, not in

a ‘get the decorations up’ sort of way… well not yet anyway, but more in a… Who’s making Christmas dinner? Is Mum coming to us this year? Has anyone got any ideas what they might like for Christmas?… sort of way.  We also start putting Christmas activi

ties on the calendar, the things that might make us feel festive, or the things that over the years have become traditions.

The buying of Christmas presents stretches over a fairly long time period. I hate hitting the shops to blast them all at once… I’m not that committed to the job in hand, I soon get distracted if I have to resort to shopping online, and leave a multitude of abandoned shopping baskets in my wake, and you won’t be surprised that I like to buy as many thngs as possible from our local independent shops.  So I’ve already started pottering on Chatsworth Road and in town, visitng the independent shops to see what they’ve got in and to get ideas. I went along to the Artisan market at the end of October and managed to pick some things up there… I’ll be going back to the one at the end of November to see if I can tick a few more presents off.  I also have the food fayre on my list of places I need to visit, I could get food hampers, but I have a very specific mission for that visit – there was a bobble hat stall last time we went, and after the kids bought one each, I’ve had two more requests, so a few more ticked off there!

Abbey Harmsworth has written an article about Christmas markets and shares some dates for ones in the Peak District that might interest you. There are also a host of smaller markets closer to home listed in the What’s On.

The other event on the calendar is the amazing Somersall Park Lantern Parade. The group, who’ve been working tirelessly over the last few months eliciting votes to secure the final funds for replacing the play equipment can’t quite hang up their superhero suits yet. They have a lantern parade to organise on 5th December.  The community bring along their own lanterns, some definitely more impressive and creative than others (we definitely fall into the none impressive category!) and join a lovely community ev

ent sharing chatter, light and goodwill, as the train of people meander from the Walton Dam entrance on Walton Road at 6:15pm, along the side of Walton dam and into the park, where some refreshments are on hand from the Britannia Inn and music will be played by the Holymoorside Brass Band.

But local Christmas events don’t stop there…

Bedecked Christmas trees at St Thomas’ Church are created by community and local businesses who customise their trees (look our for S40 Local’s pallet tree complete with large starlights courtesy of Bramptons, Paperstar Lights). This helps spread the word about local groups and raises money for the church. A pleasant gathering with the opportunity for peaceful reflections and social interaction… it runs from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th December.

Overlapping in dates slightly with another Christmas Tree festival at the St Mary’s church of the crooked spire in the town centre which runs from Saturday 18th November to Sunday 3rd December.

Whilst out in the woods on the path between Walton Dam and Somersall park, the fir tree gets its own festive make-over – you can add your own bit of sparkle to the tree as you pass, or just enjoy the work of the community elves!

As the big day approaches we have a choice about the food we buy for the festive feasts – if you have the time this year why not buy some of your Christmas treats locally, and support our independent retailers… Highfield House farm shop, the market, the food fayre, cheese shops and if you want to support local shops, but don’t have time, try Sauced Here, and they’ll do it for you!

Whatever you do, I hope it’s a happy, healthy holiday for you all!