Sunday, December 20, 2009

Signs of Christmas in Chelsea

Spending the week before Christmas in London, Aberdeen and Paris provided so many opportunities to see the spirit of Christmas as it unfolded around the world. For the moment, I'd like to share are few pictures of some signs of Christmas near our home in Chelsea, in the heart of London. Sloane Square is the hub of activity, and there you find the Peter Jones department store, a well loved department store which has been on that site since 1877. The interior was beautiful this year with silver, white and azure balls hanging from the sixth floor through the center of the store.

Inside the children's department, is a British mail box

where the children could drop their letters to Father Christmas until December 11. Guess he'd be too busy working on those lists after that date to be reading more letters!

Across the street, I bumped into Father Christmas himself, and his sidekick, waiting for children to stop by at The General Trading Company. In England, as in many European countries, Father Christmas always receives the children in his grotto. The tradition of children visiting Santa in a cavern like area began in Britain in 1879, and spread to Australia and America in the 1890's.

I was inside the house last Thursday when I kept hearing music, so I grabbed my camera and leaned outside the front door to catch this photo of 2 musicians entertaining the boys and girls as they left school for the day.

Soon after they left, the snowflakes began to fall.

And one of my favorite Christmas views of all is always at Sloane Square, where the magical star-lights in the trees and the streams of lights hanging from the Peter Jones store

illuminate the square and transform it into a dream world where wishes sometimes come true.

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