Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Window Wanderland & Christmas Tree Heaven

As Christmas is approaching, I'm throwing myself into all manner of different events, trying to build up as much Christmassy cheer as I can muster. This weekend was no exception, attending not 1, but 2 Christmas staples of my hometown.

First up came the annual Christmas Tree Festival, which takes place in St Paul's Church, and raises money for the Bedford Hospitals Charity. Each year, local businesses, charities and schools decorate Christmas trees to a specified theme. This year's theme was 'The Joy of Music', treble clefs, musical notes and sheet music were very much the order of the day! The local schools produced some beautiful decorations, the Rotary Club did themselves proud, and, fittingly, the Cats Protection charity produced a Cats the Musical tree. All trees were available for purchase, adding to the coffers of the charity.

We attended on Saturday afternoon. Having paid our entrance fee, we made our way into what resembled an enchanted forest. Trees adorned every available space, some with twinkling lights, others dripping with musical notes. Festoons of tinsel and clusters of baubles could be found in every nook. A beautiful choir sang carols and Christmas classics in the background, while everybody else had the pleasure of milling around and taking in the trees in all their splendor. It was a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit, and we helped out a charity to boot.

The Christmas shenanigans didn't end there. Saturday evening saw the Black Tom Window Wanderland take place. Residents in the area signed up to decorate their windows in various themes for the pleasure of the public. Tours were held on the evening, and the residents took the opportunity to go all out to impress, collecting money for charity on the way.

The residents really did themselves proud, the windows looked incredible. So much effort was made by all, it was really very special. So many brilliant themes were chosen, from a Dreams window, to Hansel & Gretel, Frozen (with the actual movie playing in the background, so the little ones (and some of the bigger ones) loved it), to Santa at Home, where we found the big guy snoozing away in front of the T.V. We attended the 2nd tour of the evening, with around 15 others. The first tour was said to have had about 50 attendees, and people were milling around with maps of the windows to visit by themselves, so the whole event made a big impact. It all ended at the Burnaby Arms (who participated with a very pretty window of their own), where votes were cast for favourite windows, a band was playing, and the drinks flowed. The overall winner was the Good King Wenceslas themed window, which really did look wonderful. But congratulations should be offered to all who participated, you did your neighbourhood proud and raised cash for charity. Thank you for the experience!
Dream a little dream
The Burnaby Arms' candy cane infused effort
Even the sleeping Sylvanian families got in on the action
Hansel & Gretel discover the gingerbread house
And Star Wars made an appearance too.
 The winner!

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