It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Birmingham. The lights are on, the German Market is in town, and this weekend saw the Festive Gift Fair return to the NEC and bring a wonderful festive mood with it.
From the minute you arrive at the hall hosting the Fair, you are greeted by Christmas. Festive music is playing, there is a wonderful display that is perfect for posing for pictures or for selfies and you could sign up to a competition to try to win some seasonal goodies.
The display changes each year, and this year included large alarm clocks that had been decorated in a festive style. I think they were just beautiful this year, especially the pink themed design.
Once inside the hall you are greeted by all things Christmas. There are stores full of beautiful, and I have to say reasonably priced, decorations. There are gift ideas for pretty much everyone in your family, including lots of products from independent stores and artisans so you can actually find something really unusual, brilliant if you are struggling for inspiration. And then there are food and drink choices, with amazing cheese stores, artisan sausages, flavoured gins and vodkas, craft beers, hand made truffles, and some pretty incredible cakes and pastries. It is food heaven, and as you can try pretty much everything, it is a good idea to leave the car at home (although the train strike made this a bit of a problem.)
There are plenty of photo opportunities as you move around the fair, from a Santa on stilts, to a festive Captain Jack Sparrow, and, of course, Father Christmas. There was also a chance to pose with the biggest bear I have ever seen. There are also musical interludes with a selection of live music played on stages around the venue.
I always love attending the gift fair and this year was no exception. It always seems to get Christmas off to a good start and leaves me with a lovely glow when I leave, although that may just be all the free alcohol.