ready or not…

…christmas has arrived in london.

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on october twenty ninth, as i walked home from work, i noticed lights and huge mistletoe hanging over the street around the corner from our flat. and i realized that without that thanksgiving buffer, christmas was really coming early this year. i’ve been so conflicted over it – does starting to celebrate in late october enhance the magic, or dilute it? i have always been firmly in the day-after-thanksgiving-is-the-official-start-and-don’t-decorate-or-listen-to-christmas-music-before-then-or-it-will-thin-out-the-excitement-and-charm camp. but as glimmery lights and lovely trimmings have continued to pop up around our neighborhood, i’ve decided to embrace it. you won’t see a christmas tree in our house until december, but i’m going to let christmas magic start seeping in my bones in the meantime.


last night i decided to take a little stroll around our neighborhood and photograph the pretty spectacular christmas decorations going up. all of these photos are taken within a fifteen minute walking radius of our flat! i got pretty giddy digesting all of this. i have to keep reminding myself that we are going to be in london for several christmastimes, so i don’t need to worry tooooo much about seeing/doing/loving everything londonchristmas this year :)

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when i got home from my walk, i added a few leaves to our thankful tree to make sure i wasn’t giving thanksgiving the shaft :) the holidays are really here!!! hooooooray!



  1. Well, Europeans have no reason to celabrate Thanksgiving nor do we really do Halloween. Plus it gets so incredibly dark the norther you go (where I live sun sets around 4pm at the moment and in december as early as 1pm) so we need those christmas lights to brighten up thigs :D

  2. How beautiful and magical. I love it all. We try to keep Thanksgiving and Christmas very separate, as well. But, it is getting harder and harder as we are seeing snowflakes today in Michigan. Ha! Your grateful tree and your family traditions will carry you through Thanksgiving and into Christmas no matter where you live. You are on an adventure of a life time, living abroad. But, i remember the feelings of living abroad with holidays and being by ourselves with our children and no extra family with us. It was a bit of a struggle, the first year. Now when I look back at our holidays abroad, wow! It was really a special time for our family. We grew closer together and had experiences that have remained strong in our memories and polished our lives in a way that i cant quite explain. You seem to already be finding your way and you will balance everything out. Thanks for the fantastic pictures. Made my day.

  3. OH CHARITY I AM SOOOOO EXCITED TO VISIT YOU GUYS! I can hardly contain myself. T-minus one month and six days :)

  4. The Christmas decs look lovely.

    I think the ones in Regent Street get switched on tomorrow night.

    Regarding Thanksgiving, a load of the shops had both in-store & on-line sales on Black Friday. I found that quite strange, as we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK. In one Asda store there was total chaos on that day.

    It must be really exciting to live around so many wonderful places in London, especially now as the decs go up.

  5. Lovely photos! Btw re your post last week, Tesco do tinned black beans and Kraft Mac n cheese in the Caribbean foods section. Large tesco stores have a US food section. As someone else said, home delivery is your friend!

  6. Charity, We are thinking of coming to London with our 4 sons (18-10) We have been in the Air Force and lived all over, but we think we need to see London (and this makes me want to see it at Christmas) Could you recommend some areas that would be good to stay in (we use VRBO a lot) but I don't know the area well enough. My kids love history and we would be seeing it at a low key pace. If you ever hear of any good reasonable accommodations would you let me know. ( You are a gifted writer, thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  7. Would love to hear you are safe in London.

  8. London is safe. The terror attacks happened in Paris. That`s 464km away from London.

  9. I realize the are two separate cities with water between a them and land. But being in London a quick trip to Paris on a weekend is possible. Just a couple hours by train. I'm would love to hear she is safe and that she is in london.

    1. we are safe and sound. thank you for your concern! so sad about the terrible tragedy in paris.

  10. Holy Wow!
    What a neighborhood, What a Christmas, What a Daughter!

  11. Perfectly magical...before, during and after! Love it!

  12. Hi there =)

    I read your blog every once in a while, and I just love this post! Its just so funny that you feel conflicted about starting to celebrate Christmas earlier than you normally would. You see, In my country, we don't really celebrate Halloween and there'd no Thanksgiving, so here I am, all ready and anxious to put up my Christmas decor and then, there's you: having to adjust to something new. I really enjoy learning about other people's experiences that somehow seem so far and yet so close to my own =)
    Anyways..."it's beging to look a lot like Christmas..."