Posted 6 December 2012 by Andrew Gardner
We couldn't do a December blog without mentioning the festivities, could we? I think Sussex has something for just about everyone in the run-up to Christmas, and whether you like to spend the silly season curled up by the woodburner with a good book in one of our cosy cottages, discovering beautiful country walks and warm, welcoming pubs on your doorstep or just shopping and eating based in one of our lovely apartments, there's a warm welcome for you.
This month many Sussex towns - including Seaford, Worthing, Chichester and Newhaven - host delightful Christmas fares and markets, including special seasonal farmers' markets featuring delicious local produce which anyone in self-catering accommodation (or looking to buy tasty presents) really shouldn't miss, and most towns have special late night shopping evenings. One of the loveliest is Arundel by Candlelight, on Saturday 8 December, with music, a glittering tree, mulled wine, mince pies, hog roast, a carousel and of course shopping, with many streets closed to traffic so that you can stroll safely. There's a candlelight and lantern parade to brighten up the dark evening and of course Santa will be there for the children.
For traditional celebrations there are so many gorgeous, historic village churches where you can attend a truly atmospheric Christmas carol and crib service - pull out the stops at Chichester Cathedral or worship in peace wherever you choose. If you prefer to celebrate the winter solstice, Burning the Clocks in Brighton on Friday 21 December is a spectacular evening parade and fire show, with fireworks, that everyone can join in. Please be aware, though, that you can only burn lanterns made from official kits that are certified for safety by the organisers (see the official website for details) and home-made and Chinese lanterns are not allowed. This isn't rule-making gone mad, it's for genuine safety reasons - Chinese lanterns can start fires and put livestock in danger.
Meanwhile, the surreal sight of a family of Santas on bicycles in Horsham the other day reminded me that charity Santa Fun Runs (Dashes, Jogs... he seems to go at all paces and I bet he runs marathons too) are scheduled in several Sussex towns in December including Pulborough and Haywards Heath - will you catch him?