North East Post
Weekend Edition
12:20 AM 27th November 2021

It’s Chri-i-i-i-stmas: The Top Signs That Christmas Has Truly Arrived

Photo by Ron Dauphin on Unsplash
Photo by Ron Dauphin on Unsplash
New research by Visit London has revealed the top signs that Christmas is well and truly underway, according to the nation. Christmas adverts appearing (53%), Christmas songs on the radio (50%), festive shop windows (49%), advent calendars in shops (44%), and switching on of the Christmas lights in local towns and cities (42%) topped the list.

The study of 2,000 Brits also revealed that over a quarter (27%) of people said London’s iconic Christmas light switch on is a key sign it’s Christmas.
nothing signals the start of Christmas than city centres coming alive for the festive season.

The arrival of Christmas markets (39%) and themed menus (36%) in restaurants were also revealed as milestone moments, while others really start feeling warm and fuzzy after receiving their first card (37%) of the season and watching films like Home Alone or Love Actually on the TV (32%).

Photo by Mario Mendez on Unsplash
Photo by Mario Mendez on Unsplash
Pigs in blankets (23%) and mince pies (40%) on shelves were also further indicators of the festive season approaching. And as the likes of the Natural History Museum are taken over, one in five (17%) say that ice rinks appearing is a key sign it’s Christmas.

According to the research, one in 20 (4%) Brits admitted to putting up Christmas decorations in October, and a quarter (25%) stated that they even begin planning for Christmas in October or before.

A whopping two in five (42%) said that the festive season is the highlight of their year, with four in 10 (40%) preferring it to their own birthday.

Laura Citron, CEO of Visit London, said:
“There’s no mistake that certain things spring you into the magical festive mood.

“Whether it’s winter lights illuminating the streets, markets, or shopping amongst all the festive shop windows, nothing signals the start of Christmas than city centres coming alive for the festive season.

“There is something extra magical about the festive period in London, from breath-taking Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Carnaby Street to some of the country’s best pantomimes and festive shows on the West End, every corner of the city offers an opportunity to really get into the festive mood.”

Tis the season to be jolly according to 57% who are more likely to treat themselves to nice food and drink in the lead up to the big day – with chocolates (49%), pigs in blankets (41%) and mince pies (41%) the top treats.

“It’s no surprise to see that food is also at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to the festive season.

Over a quarter (27%) stated that pantomimes were a key sign, as the likes of Potted Panto and Dick Whittington hit the glitz and glamour of London’s West End and local theatres around the country. Being able to enjoy a big Christmas attraction such as Winter Wonderland with family and friends is a favourite for 16% of the nation.

Laura added:
“It’s no surprise to see that food is also at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to the festive season.

“With some of the UK’s best Christmas food markets in places such as the Southbank and Winter Wonderland and our world class restaurant scene – London has a range of festive menus and market-stall treats for everyone to indulge on this winter season.

“After a difficult 2020 where we spent much of the festive season in lockdown, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the UK back to London to enjoy all the winter fun on offer in our great city.”

Although many enjoy taking in the epic Christmas decorations that you will find on the likes of Carnaby Street and the Trafalgar Square tree, decorating the home (34%) is a firm Christmas favourite, along with taking wintery walks (31%).

When store windows, like Fortnum & Mason and Hamleys, make it look like you’re stepping into Santa’s workshop, it’s no wonder that almost a quarter (23%) of people said that some good old-fashioned shopping is something they are looking forward to most.


The Christmas adverts start appearing e.g. the John Lewis Christmas advert - 53%
Christmas songs play on the radio - 50%
Festive shop windows - 49%
Advent calendars in the shops - 44%
The Christmas light switch on in your local town/city - 42%
Mince pies appearing on shop shelves - 40%
There is a Christmas-themed seasonal section in the supermarket - 40%
Christmas markets start popping up in your local town/city - 39%
Christmas cards on sale - 39%
You get your first Christmas card - 37%
Festive menus in restaurants – 36%
Christmas jumpers are available to buy in shops - 34%
Restaurants advertising their Christmas menu and taking bookings - 33%
Films like Home Alone, Love Actually and Harry Potter start playing on the TV - 32%
Pantomimes on at the theatre – 27%
The Christmas light switch on in London e.g. Oxford Street - 27%
Talk amongst your family over where you’re spending the Christmas holidays - 26%
Christmas coffee cups in coffee shops - 25%
Pigs in blankets appear on shelves - 23%
Radio Times special edition – 20%