It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

When the calendar flips to November, everyone knows its time for Christmas.

Lori Harper
12th November 2018
Image: Markus Spiske

Now Halloween’s over it can only mean one thing…Christmas time! Right?

There are a couple of signs in Newcastle which begin the Christmas countdown; the lights going up and Hadrian’s tipi are some, but perhaps the most iconic Christmas signifier is the Fenwick Christmas window. It’s impossible to walk past the Northumberland Street store and its large windows without feeling even slightly festive. But with that said, is this year’s display just a little too early? With the big reveal hitting us only 2 days after Halloween, Fenwick have barely given us time to throw away our pumpkins before we think about buying all our Christmas gifts.

This year’s display celebrates 40 years of Raymond Brigg’s magical tale, The snowman. Like many others, I endured last Friday’s hour-long queue just to catch a glimpse of the display. I have to say, Fenwick’s never disappoint. Classic Christmas songs played, and a snow machine allowed little snowflakes to fall on top of the crowd while the heart-warming display was unveiled. Each window portrays a scene from the beloved childhood tale, where a young boy, James, wakes to discover his snowman is alive.

Children gazed in amazement as Fenwick brought the familiar family tale to life through the journey of James and his snowman to the North Pole, with the final window reminding us of the touching scene when James and the Snowman say goodbye to one another. Fenwick have captured the nostalgia of the tale down to the smallest detail, from the penguins at the snowman party, to the toy train that both James and the snowman play with.

In recent years, Fenwick have also impressed us with eclectic displays such as Alice in Wonderland, Beatrix Potter and last years Paddington. But Fenwick have been pulling out all the stops with their Christmas windows since 1971.

Traditionally, the grand reveal takes place every year on the first Friday in November. Yet every year, for the past 5 years, this seems to creep increasingly closer. In 2014 the reveal was a week after Halloween, giving us some breathing space between the two festivities. It has become universally acknowledged that Christmas comes earlier every year, and certainly that may be the case when we see stores such as Paperchase stocking Christmas cards as early as September. Now, by this I don’t mean to sound like a scrooge- I love Christmas as much as anyone- but does prematurely getting our spirits up, only leave us feeling more deflated by January blues when it’s over?

It seems that as soon as summer’s over we begin to look forward to the winter holidays. But when should the Christmas countdown really begin? Perhaps rather than overlap, there should be a transition between the autumnal celebrations of Halloween and Bonfire Night, before we recline into the prolonged festive season.

Nonetheless, whether you agree that the Fenwick Christmas display has hit us slightly early this year or not, you will not fail to be blown away by the enchanting and endearing The Snowman theme.

So, wrap up warm, prepare for the slow queue’s and get on board the Christmas hype by giving Fenwick a little visit.

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