It’s beginning to look a lot like a Barkingside Christmas!

Donning a Santa hat and munching on Gingerbread men, Raeesa Mukhtar joins Barkingside residents as they welcome the festive season.

It’s officially Christmas in Barkingside! Okay so, it may not be snowing, the presents haven’t all been wrapped and it’s definitely not time to buy the turkey… Yet, when I went to Barkingside Christmas light switch-on last Thursday, it was clear that the festive season had taken over almost every shop on the High Street! All around me decorations stood proudly in place, hanging from trees draped with tinsel and glitter. Lights adorned shop window fronts, twinkling happily at passers-by. Despite the cold biting at my fingers, I felt cosy and excited for the coming events.

3.30pm and school is out! The library begins to get busy, but something caught my eye beyond the bookshelf. A figure, dressed in red and white, wearing a Christmas hat and…walking on stilts! Accompanied by two elves, the tall woman made her way out of the library and onto the street, ducking so as not to hit her head on the ceiling! The trio began patrolling and calling out to children, telling them to visit the library and take part in the famous Gingerbread Man Trail. Even whilst skilfully standing on stilts, the woman made a fabulous balloon for each child that stopped to say hello. One lucky little girl received a balloon resembling a red and white candy cane. Once parents had snapped photographs of their ecstatic children they began to flood through the doors of the library. Everyone was desperate to see Santa of course!

The library looked and felt festive, just like the High Street shop windows. The shelves were covered in tinsel and a lovely little Gingerbread house perched on the edge of the front desk.  To the right, there was a spectacular array of trees and decorations, alongside which were tables armed with juice and biscuits for the visitors. Christmas spirit had even descended on the lovely staff, who donned cheerful headbands as they showed children to the eagerly anticipated Santa’s Grotto! Squeals of laughter and beaming smiles filled the library and it seemed that everyone had a great time celebrating Christmas in Barkingside!

Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar


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