I can't wait to wear mine with snowflakes and dinosaurs (they celebrate Christmas too). Also, Mariah Carrey and Michael Bublè are back on the radio!
The Christmas period can be very exciting, but often it comes with a lot of stress. Instead of cheering you up, a lot of school and job deadlines are approaching and reunions with relatives and Christmas shopping can be exhausting.
In this period, don't lose your creative spirit! It can be a hard when you enter the Christmas loop of stress, nevertheless it's not impossible to break free and find inspiration for a new project. Take a bit of time for yourself and regenerate with a walk around the Christmas markets. So here we are my suggestions to enjoy them fully:
1. Ogres have layers. If you are planning a long day at the Christmas market, listen to Shrek's advice and be prepared at every kind of weather. You don't want your day to be ruined because it is freezing and it rains non stop. Stay comfy! There is no need to be a fashion icon or show your unique style. A warm and friendly atmosphere is what matters.
2. Go with your mates but don't carry a huge group. Christmas markets are usually incredibly busy places to be. It's awesome to be there with your friends and enjoy food and drinks, but it is also very easy to loose each other, especially if the market is very big. You don't want to spend hours trying to reunite your group, do you?
3. Don't forget the map. Very big Christmas markets like Manchester's need to be carefully addressed. This year, Manchester has ten different places which are hosting the market with about 300 stands. If you want to survive and not feel overwhelmed by the crowds, spend a few minutes to get familiar with the map.
4. Traditional British food. I've seen marvellous pies at the market this year. It's very hard to resist them. Puddings, sweets and other delicious things at every corner.
5. European and world food. One of the most popular tips for finding inspiration is trying something new. So why don't we start with food? German stands are a constant presence at the market with their bratwursts. But there are also unusual ones covered between Christmas decorations stands. Belgian, Italian, Dutch and French food finds its own place at the market.
6. Mulled Wine. It's very nice to spice your life up and definitely an essential thing against the cold weather. Sharing it with friends in the cosy atmosphere of the wooden stalls is a great remedy against Christmas blue. Obviously, strictly for over 18s!
7. Hot chocolate bars for the little ones, but not only. If you're not so keen in mulled wine, a perfect alternative is a hot chocolate topped with cream. There are so many different and exciting flavours…you might be inspired to write the next Chocolat or to produce hand-made chocolate presents for the holiday season.
After you are pleasantly full and warm enough to venture in the exploration of the markets, bear in mind few other suggestions:
8. Don't rush and take a break. It easy to feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic when you try to find your way in the Christmas market. Therefore, trying to rush and to visit every stall in one afternoon is not going to help your creative spirit but only to crash it.
9. Take a quick picture of what you like and save it for later. Inspiration can be around the corner. Taking notes in a busy place can be a challenging task, but photos are quick and easy to take as a reminder. It could be an idea for Christmas presents or a new-born project in your mind. Don't let them go!
10. Just Enjoy! Don't overthink about your to do-list or what is worrying you at the moment. Amazing projects can be born when you free your mind.
Image courtesy Garry Knight via Flickr