Christmas Commerce

Maybe it is because my mother’s birthday at the end of November but my attention doesn’t generally shift to Christmas before December. Not so Commerce. Across London our shops have been jingling sleigh bells metaphorically and literally since the day after they put the pumpkins away. On a wet grey morning in Mayfair I saw Westminster Council workers getting the borough up to speed. The Oxford Street lights have been up for what seems like ages.
Blue skies would make these baubles more attractive.


I’m guessing blue skies would have made the task of hanging in them more pleasant too.


Generally, the richer the area the more understated the decorations. In my part of London we have a blaze of colours, cascading blue curtains of lights. This business would feel right at home.

More is More

You can get more of the effect with this one.

Not Understated

Nearby, fir trees have been ditched for the baobab look.

Baobab Christmas

While Claridges has gone with the more traditional look.


45 thoughts on “Christmas Commerce

  1. They were putting decorations up before we left southern Florida. It does feel early, but I was having a hard time transitioning to northern US – maybe because I know I have coming here for a lot of work associated with our two holidays that are seeming to merge together – Thanksgiving and Christmas. For whatever reason it helped that they had decorated trees at the end of the luggage carousels at the Detroit airport. I love giving gifts but Christmas shopping and giving has seemed to turn into a duty as of late instead of the joy it should be. And nothing irritates me more than have to as or being asked “what would you like for Christmas.”

  2. I’m not sure if you have a day like this in London, but Nov 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada, and I think it’s called Veteran’s day in the States… either way, it’s a day that we set aside to honor those who have fought for our freedom, and for the freedoms of the world. As far as I’m concerned, it’s inconsiderate to our veterans to start decorating for Christmas before Nov 12th… even then, sometime in December seems more appropriate to me.

    • Yes it is Remembrance Day and we wear poppies. There are services at the cenotaph and the abbey on the Sunday closest. But t is not a commercial event that the shops get involved with.

  3. I think nowadays Christmas decoration in streets and shops is very much related to make us shop for Christmas as much as possible. Christmas itself, with its spiritual and/or religious meaning is just a pale souvenir for the majority if there is any at all. And, moreover, I think very very few are aware of the reason why Christmas is celebrated on that specific period of the year which was already celebrated before Christianity. Saddly enough, consuming and making money is the goal for many of us.

  4. well your getting ready for christmas, and we are having a sad anniversary, i may be still be wearing black at christmas, but we surely wont neglect the birth day of jesus, we will at least have some cake, and lit some candles

      • it is a religious anniversary, i dont want to talk about politics and i think you will not love that, yet i believe it is the cause behind that there are still sensitive and lovely muslims, i have been planning to write about it since about a weak, but i have partials next week, and its study study study, am using my relaxation time in reading blogs, i really love it,
        by the way i just wrote, a new page i mentioned your blog their, am not sure why didnt it leave any ping back but any way have a look, i will be glad to hear you openion

        • Thanks Hasan, no I don’t really welcome politics on this page. I’ll pop over and take a look. Did you use the link option or just type the name of the blog?

      • lol, yes ramadan is known for good food (besides its religous meanings)
        and i mentioned your blog in the page “blogging and following blogs”
        you are number 11

  5. Well it may be early for the decorations but I enjoyed your pictures. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and CH and I don’t shop for presents except for our family Christmas exchange. We don’t need more stuff. Top shot, those buildings are beautiful? Are they apartments? or what would you call them Isobel?

  6. I miss the enjoyment I used to have at Christmas, but this year brings a special ennui. I would happily let the time slide by…. Missing the winter snows with the darkness punctuated by twinkly lights…. Missing family that has dispersed in a not-good way…. Missing my own self, kind of dispersed herself!

    Lovely post, Isobel, and apparently, evocative! <:-D Claridge's hypnotizes me and beckons me inside the doors. Nice job!

    Me too–fatigued from the constant jangle of buybuybuy. Here in the US we have the day after Thanksgiving (always a Thursday) now called Black Friday. I think it refers to the shopkeepers being able to push their accounting out of the red and into the black–because of the enormous "sales" that make us all shop like zombies. Economic woes? Where?!

    And Veteran's Day is rife with Veterans Day sales. Oh joy. More reasons to buy.

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