‘Tis the season to be…social! 

Whether it’s meeting friends to swap Secret Santa gifts, family get-togethers where more people than chairs come to visit you or the BIG Christmas shop; it’s that time of year where diaries get booked up rapidly! But before all of this, one of the first Christmassy dates for my diary has to be the Christmas lights switch on in your local town – A night of flashing wands, mulled wine, friends and a chanted countdown from 10 has to be THE way to start the Christmas festivities and I’m excited to hear Rayleigh’s is Thursday 24th November (add to the diary now!).

This year Marcos Bar is kindly one of the main sponsors for Rayleigh’s Christmas light switch on – I have been to Marcos Bar a few times (most of which I consumed way too much sangria!) and it’s a great local restaurant with fantastic entertainment by local singers! It’s a lovely place, so get a date in the diary to go there in the lead up to Christmas!

After the lights are sparkling all the way down the high street and the Christmas festivities have officially begun, it is then time to follow suit and pimp out our house with sparkle, scented candles and more lit up decorations than we have plug sockets! But before blasting the Christmas tunes and singing all the way up to our loft to grab our decorations, there is one very important trip AJ and I have to make to Wheatley Farm Garden Centre to find our real Christmas tree! “It’s just a tree, it won’t take long to pick one” I said on my first tree shopping trip. How wrong was I! You walk in and you suddenly analyse trees like never before. Too fat. Too thin. Too tall. Too short. And then BOOM – there it is, the p-e-r-f-e-c-t tree. You just know when it’s the one. Off we trot to the car for the obligatory journey home with branches poking me in the eye, but it is SO worth it. Out the car we get. In the house we go. We position the tree, cut the protection netting and…“PING!” Out ping the branches – which always seem to double in length during the journey home! Then comes the question of doubt…“hmmm is it too big?!” A few tilts of the head either side, followed by a big approving grin to each other – we LOVE it! So we decorate it to our hearts content!

The next Christmassy date for the diary has to be a Christmas movie night (and if I am super organised, I would have a wrapping up session at the same time – after all, a Christmas tree isn’t complete without a few wrapped presents underneath!). I love all Christmas movies, but Elf, all the Home Alones and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation have to be up there in my list of fav’s! So, I think you should all get a date in the diary to host a cosy Christmas movie night, and remember to stock up on popcorn and hot chocolate!

I am so excited to kick off all the festivities at the Rayleigh Christmas light switch on! If you are going or attending a local one nearer you, feel free to share your photos using #lifeofasociallocal – I can’t wait to see everyone getting into the Christmas spirit!

I’m off to eat a mince pie and add some more Christmassy dates to the diary…!

Thanks for reading,

Until next time, be happy and be a social local! 🙂





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