Leeds Diary Dates: December 2016

So, November feels like the month where a whole year’s worth of significant stuff has happened. I confirmed an extension on my flat tenancy (ensuring I won’t be homeless on Christmas Day, yay), got promoted, and my company won Best Travel Blog at a major travel awards, to the shock and delight of my fellow content writers and I. Add to all this the fact that basically every week from now until the end of the year is filled with lovely plans and celebrations, and I’m feeling positively festive as we head into December.

The street lights have been turned on, the Christmas trees are up in City Square and the Trinity Centre, and Christkindlmarkt is open for business, which means Christmas has officially started in Leeds. So it will come as no surprise that the majority of my diary dates for December are dominated by festive cheer. But really, is anyone complaining?

1st-Jan: Christmas in Leeds Art Trail

Christmas in Leeds has technically already kicked off, with installations like the lights in Park Square and the creepy statue in the roof of the train station already set up. But once we’re in December I’m going to commit some time to actually taking myself on a walk around Leeds to all the different sots on the trail. I’m particularly excited to see The Northern Lights and The Murmuration Cloud at the Corn Exchange, and David Shearing’s Christmas With Us experience in Central Square.

3rd-4th: Etsy Made Local Christmas Market

Etsy Made Local is a fantastic idea – a chance for all the internet sellers to come out from behind the computer screens and sell their goods face-to-face at markets in their home city. The Leeds event is being held at Leeds City Museum, and for a whole weekend Christmas shoppers will have over 70 stalls to browse for unique and creative Christmas gifts, and have the chance to take part in workshops and talks. It’s a great way to encourage people to shop local and support independent designers, and you might just discover your new favourite Etsy shop!

16th-22nd: Leeds Hidden Christmas Market

While the German Christmas Market is cute and festive and all, long-term Leeds residents will know that it’s had pretty much the exact same stalls in the exact same places for years, and it’s getting  a bit stale. Sneaky Experience are shaking things up with their Hidden Christmas Market at Kirkstall Abbey. Details are being kept vague (sneaky sneaky), but we are promised food, drink, stalls, live music…and glitter.

21st-26th: It’s A Wonderful Life at Hyde Park Picture House

Most people I know look at me like I’m insane when I describe my favourite Christmas film in which a man goes to a bridge in the snow to commit suicide, and then ask if I’ve ever considered Elf as a cheerier alternative. But I don’t care – It’s A Wonderful Life is one of the most life-affirming films I’ve ever seen and going to see in at Hyde Park Picture House before Christmas cannot fail to leave you with a festive glow warming your insides. If you haven’t seen it, it starts off grim but stick with it. Everything starts to look up after Clarence arrives, I promise.

What are you looking forward to this Christmas? Whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a wonderful end to the year!

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