If there's one thing I've learned, it's that the Brits really get into Christmas. I mean, this is the country that produced A Christmas Carol, after all. London is aglow, as are other towns I've visited in recent weeks, such as Winchester and Canterbury. Signs have been up on restaurant and pub windows for ages, at least since I first arrived here in September, advertising that patrons should "book early for Christmas dinner." I guess that's a big thing here? Shop windows have had Christmas displays for several weeks, and last night the cheer spread to Oxford, as a range of Christmas lights and nighttime holiday markets opened for the weekend.
The smell of mince pies and mulled wine was in the air, and there was a stand selling hot chocolate brandy that I was tempted to try (but didn't, alas). There were kiddie Christmas trains and rides, and merchants were selling Christmas-themed goodies and trinkets. A machine even sat in the corner, puffing out fake snow. With the cold nipping in the air, I'm starting to get into the holiday spirit!