Good news: you are now officially allowed to go out in public wearing your Christmas jumper! This may mean more to some of you than others, but as someone who has been itching to don my gingerbread man, snowman, and Santa Claus-covered festive cardigan since the day after Halloween, I am extremely excited by this. And what better place to wear your gaudiest Christmas jumpers than at Edinburgh’s wonderful Christmas market?
Make sure you are imbued with the festive spirit before you make your way down – the transformed Princes Street Gardens and St Andrew Square are likely to be packed with people with their dogs, children, friends, and ‘baes’, making the process of weaving your way through the crowd trickier than it might otherwise be. Withdraw any cash that you are planning to spend beforehand, as cash machines are few and far between on Princes Street. Unless you have superhuman restraint, you will need this cash for some of the ridiculously tempting food and drinks on offer. Wafts of bratwurst, pulled pork, chips, doughnuts, strudel, ‘chocolate kisses’ (flavoured teacake-like morsels that melt in the mouth), mulled wine and cider, and hot chocolate mingle in the air to create that lovely festive scent the Christmas market has every year.
Once your stomach is sufficiently stuffed, have a wander around and look at the wares being sold at the stalls: clothes, jewellery, fake snow, home decorations and baubles, and even specialty items like chocolate teapots might make good gifts for your friends and family. For an authentic Christmas market experience, be sure to ice-skate or go on at least one of the funfair-style attractions in the area (a personal recommendation is the helter-skelter, which is especially entertaining if you have any particularly tall people with you).
Admiring the Christmas lights tangled in the trees whilst clutching a warming mug of mulled cider in your hands is the perfect way to welcome winter to Edinburgh (while refusing to acknowledge the reality of the upcoming exams), so, to wrap things up, there is no time like the present to get down to this year’s Christmas market!
Photo credit: Steph Lee