Top 10 things that signal Christmas is near in the UK

The Coca-Cola advert
The merry jingle and red lorry and lights really start to get us thinking that Christmas festivities with wine, cocktails and the inevitable soft drinks for the designated drivers are nearing. Its strange to think that its a marketing campaign that was thought up by Coca Cola because it has become so integral to the Christmas is nearing feeling.

Jamie Oliver Christmas cooking specials
Watching Jamie Oliver make incredible, tasty festive dishes is a sure-fire way to make you feel in the mood for Christmas. The only down-side is that whilst watching you will always feel hungry, so make sure you have some food to hand. Thankfully almost always shown on channels with adverts, so you can run to the kitchen for food top-ups every 15 minutes or so.

Mulled everything
If you can drink it, mull it. Mulled wine is the tip of the mulled iceberg when it comes to seasonal drinks in the UK. Cider? Is it December? You don’t want that cold do you? Of course not! You want warm mulled cider! If you can add cinnamon and orange to it, then its mulled. Yes, you can even get mulled beer. Re-enforce the mulled-ness by watching Nigella get tipsy when adding liqueurs to everything!

Cinnamon scented candles
Every supermarket and corner store becomes filled with Yankee Candles, and walk down any high street and you are sure to smell the wafting sparking cinnamon and winter berry combo’s. Ah the smell of Christmas.

Christmas jumpers
Seeing people walking around with woolly jumpers with snowflakes on them? That signals its November or early December. Everyone walking around in loud, green, red and sparkly wolly jumpers – its December, and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping you should really get a move on.

Little oranges
Ah, the time of year when the fruit bowl empties of those summer fruits and is 90% clementine, satsuma and easy peeler oranges. Nothing signals Christmas so clearly as rejecting all other non-christmassy fruits in favour of the mini oranges.

Spiced coffees
In every coffee shop across the land you can now add flavoured syrups of everything cinnamon and berry related as well as other festive flavours. Dear help any coffee loving diabetics at this time of year as a single festive coffee or peppermint hot chocolate can contain twice the sugar of a can of coke.

All the dried fruit
Mince pies, mincemeat slices, mincemeat squares, mincemeat pastries, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding…. need I go on? If you don’t like raisins or dried fruit, good luck getting any baked goods that don’t contain them in the run up to Christmas.

Pigs in blankets
Mini-sausages wrapped in bacon. At no other time of year do we suddenly make little small portions of food we normally eat and then wrap them in another food. The variations are now huge, especially in hipster haunts where you can get small bowls of all different festive variants of these scrummy  treats.

Tins & tubs of sweets
Quality Street, Roses, Minature Heroes and Celebrations. If you don’t know what these are, then you have been living under a rock if you live in the UK. ┬áThere are lots of other new entrants too from Marks & Spencer, but the core 4 by Cadbury and Nestle are the staple sneaky snack and “I don’t know what to get you” gift. Every office and every home fills with these large tins of moorish sweets every December. Its almost like you can do a countdown to Christmas based on the number of tins/tubs that are around. Spot 1 tub somewhere every day, its the end of November or Early December. Spot 2 tubs per day, its most likely mid-December, and when there is one of each of the main 4 on the side, its Christmas Eve and you should be ready for the main event.