Don't get your tinsel in a tangle over 2020's Christmas Markets - I've got you covered!
The Christmas movies are appearing on Netflix, Christmas songs have started to play in the supermarkets, and everyone is making their travel plans home for the holidays. There is only one thing missing - Christmas markets.
Sadly, COVID-19 has prevented my favourite thing about this time of year. Wandering around a Christmas market wrapped up in a fluffy scarf, fingers getting gwenders while holding a cup of mulled wine (or maybe a festive hot chocolate with Baileys in it). These are the things that always help me start rockin’ around the Christmas tree, but this year the markets have gone online, so instead I will be sat at home in my comfies under a fluffy blanket, still with my festive alcoholic beverage, and scroll (instead of stroll) through the festive creations.
So, I thought we could all do with a little ‘pick me up’ and Christmas Markets are the way to do that. Here are some of the virtual Christmas markets that I am looking forward to most this year.
1. Bath Christmas Market
Traditionally Bath is home to a destination market, meaning that people from all over the country travel to the city to experience the festive cheer, find unique gifts and enjoy meandering around. This December, Bath Christmas Market is still offering you the opportunity to shop from all the local smallholders virtually with gifts including unique homeware, personalised presents, Christmas decorations, handcrafted jewellery and more.
2. Crafty Fox Market
Established in 2010, this market supports British artisans by providing a platform to showcase and sell their work. Unfortunately this market was hosted virtually on the 5th December, but the market was successful giving the public the opportunity to buy artisanal Christmas gifts created by many creative individuals. It is THE place to discover the very best in independent sellers. They use Instagram to chat and connect with local traders, have a Spotify playlist for you to listen to as you saunter around the virtual marketplace, and if that wasn’t enough - they also have craft workshops so you can hand make your Christmas presents yourself.
3. SoLo Craft Fair’s ‘12 Virtual Night Markets of Christmas’
The South London craft market has turned to Instagram in the countdown to Christmas to showcase some exclusive gifts. On Monday nights in the lead up to Christmas, head to SoLo Craft Fair's Instagram stories between 7.30pm-9pm. The stories will offer some wonderful presents, and you simply have to click through from the stories to find the perfect handmade, ethical gifts for your loved ones. Gifts range from jewellery, fashion, and accessories, to health & beauty, cards & prints, stationary, and homeware.
4. Monica’s Advent Calendar - 1st-24th December
Featuring 24 creators on her Instagram, one a day throughout December, Monica Grose Hodge is showcasing some of the best artisanal craft, perfect for Christmas gifting. Each maker is selling a chosen piece for 10% off on their elected day.
@grose_hodge on Instagram
5. Chatsworth Christmas Market - 13th Nov-24th Dec
You might recognise the name Chatsworth. It’s the house in Derbyshire where Pride & Prejudice was filmed, and every year they host the most incredible Christmas market. This year however, all is not lost! You can still shop from their Christmas market traders even through the market is cancelled. From Christmas decor and wreaths to jewellery and delectable treats, they have something for everyone.
6. FREE Virtual Concerts
Now, I know that this one isn’t a market, however, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of theatre. Eventbrite has some amazing free shows, concerts, plays, and many more for you to enjoy in the lead up to Christmas. For example, there is a virtual carol concert on the 17th of December by the DMU Gospel Choir. Perhaps you would prefer Pacific Chorale’s virtual concert and gala which has a mix of cabaret shows and virtual choirs.
There are so many crafty creative makers out there - especially after this year when everyone honed and developed their inner creative. There is also an incredible amount of virtual Christmas entertainment for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home with all of your family wherever they may be - and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Then again, no one’s judging you if you’d rather work your way through the Christmas Netflix films - everyone loves a bit of holiday-themed cheese! Either way I hope this little festive list helped get you in the mood. I know it won’t quite be the same, but I this socially distanced festive alternative to Christmas markets seems like a very merry way to start.