Christmas is coming…

Not long to go now, and with the year we’ve all just had, we’re readier than ever for a Christmas to remember! As always, we’ve been planning for months and putting our best creative bobble hats on, so you can expect a few fun twists to some of your favourite festive events.

 

Don’t worry, we’re sticking with what we know and love this year, so watch out for all the usual magical must-sees, like our busy Elves Workshop, Charity Gifting Tree and 12 Days of Christmas painted windows. There will be music, laughter and competitions too, of course, not to mention a big chocolaty giveaway thanks to our friends at Quality Street. Our brilliant local businesses are ready and waiting to serve you too, whether you’re shopping for gifts, mad for a makeover or just want to toast this special time of year.

 

Don’t forget, socialising and buying is simple and safe in town. Or why not use your phone, tablet or laptop to support your favourite traders from the comfort of home – lots of them have made it easier than ever to shop online. You can read all about our plans for Christmas here, and don’t forget to keep an eye on our busy social media pages for all the latest news and event details. Tell your friends and family too, because everybody’s welcome and our shops, eateries and brilliant venues will be thrilled to bits to see you all!

Pledge to Shop Local

You know what they say – use it or lose it. This one’s not so much a specific event but a gentle reminder to shop local whenever you can, even if that means getting online to buy from local businesses. Whether it’s shops and bars or cafés and barbers – most of the town’s businesses have had a very challenging year in 2021. That’s why they’ll be grateful for as much support as possible from you and your family and friends.

 

Don’t forget; local businesses provide local jobs, and a big chunk of the money they make goes back into the local economy too. That means every time we trade with a business in town, everyone’s actually a winner! So, pop into town if you can, or see if you can get what you need on your favourite local traders’ websites or Facebook pages. And don’t worry; the vast majority of our businesses have worked their woolly socks off to make it simple and safe to buy from them, in person or online.

Christmas Lights

Even though we’ve loved organising it in years gone by, there’s no big Christmas Lights Switch-on this year. But don’t despair! Instead, we’ve used some of the money we’ve saved to invest in some awesome new Christmas lights, which will make the town look amazing. The great thing is that these lights will light up the town throughout the Christmas period and they’ll actually be enjoyed by even more people than any one-off event. They’ll help draw people into the centre too, and that’s going to be great for our local businesses, who need all the help they can get this Christmas.

Painted Window Trail

This one’s become a bit of an institution now, and that’s hardly surprising. After all, who doesn’t love a beautiful festive scene, brilliantly hand painted! For the third year running, we’ve commissioned fabulous Jenny Tribillon to create 12 magical Christmas scenes in the windows of 12 different town-centre properties.

Our theme is the ever-popular 12 Days of Christmas, and you can even use the Loyal Free mobile app to ‘collect’ all 12 scenes and be entered into a fantastic festive prize draw.

Letter to Santa

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the kids writing to Santa, so we just had to continue the tradition with our own special take on it. The children’s edition of our Christmas magazine will contain a simple template for kids to use when they write their own letter to Santa. Next, they can post it in the special letter box at our Discover Halifax Hub in the Woolshops area of town (don’t forget to say hi when you pop in with them!). The postbox will be available from November 15th, and every child who writes a letter is guaranteed a reply! We’ll have Elves on hand to keep things safe and orderly, so make sure you grab a photo while you’re here. Last post is December 14th, so don’t forget to make a note of it and we’ll see you down here soon.

Gifting Tree

In the true spirit of Christmas, we’re thinking about those less fortunate than us, and our Charity Gifting Tree is a great way for you to show you care.

The format will be the same as previous years, so just collect a tag and then buy a present for a child who fits the tag’s description,

 like 4-year-old girl, or 10-year-old boy. Next, pop your gift under the tree and we’ll see that it’s safely collected and delivered to someone who’ll really enjoy it. If we get enough gifts, we’ll be sharing them out between a few excellent local charities and worthy causes.

Win the Window

We ran it last year and it went down a treat, so Win the Window is back again and even better! Plenty of shops have donated amazing gifts, and you could win the lot just by popping along, scanning the QR code, then crossing your fingers and waiting to see if you’ve won. We’re expecting the window – located at our Discover Halifax Hub in Woolshops – to be ready from November 15th, and the lucky winner will be announced on December 17th which gives them a week to collect their haul!

Here’s the list of businesses who’ve donated so far, Mystical & Magical, Yates, TGI Friday, Old Cock, White Horse, Franklyns, Vue Cinema, Just Gaia, Totally Awesome, Shop 4 Little Horrors, Wilko, Plummet Line, Pages N’ Pixels, Harveys, The Halifax Playhouse.

Chocs Away!

Our friends at Quality Street have given us a generous load of their iconic chocolates, made right here in Halifax since 1936 and an absolute must for getting the Christmas season started. All we need to do is give the chocolates away: all you need to do is say thanks! We’ve got our Christmas elves to do the dishing out, and you might find a few more chocs in shops and businesses too.

Reindeers

We couldn’t leave out the reindeers of course, but for this year we’ve found them a brand new warm and cosy home at Harveys. These amazing animatronic characters sing all your favourite carols and come complete with a beautiful sleigh. In fact, they need to be seen to be believed! Bring the kids, bring their grandparents, but most of all bring a camera for the ultimate Christmas photo op!

Follow the Yellow Brick road…

Something magical is happening in the Halifax Borough Market. Our store traders are dressed in their finest panto outfits! Follow the trail and the find clues to be in with a chance of winning the fantastic prizes donated by the Halifax Borough Market Traders Association!

Each location will be marked with a letter and a number. To take part simply use these letters to complete the form across the page and post it through the letter box in the Borough Market.

The trail will run from 1st December ending midday on Christmas eve. The lucky winners will be drawn by the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Victoria Theatre and announced across social media.

Elves Workshop

With our handy new Discover Halifax Hub right in the centre of town, it seemed daft not to transform it into a gorgeous Christmas grotto. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done! Inside, you’ll find our Christmas elves hard at work on weekends, late night shopping nights and for the week running up to Christmas.

Just like last year, you can bring along your gifts and have them beautifully wrapped for free – how’s that for a way to save some cash and a heap of time and hassle! Look for the elves out and about in town too, where they’ll be giving out helpful info and probably the odd chocolate or two. One last thing: don’t expect Santa at the grotto – the Elves don’t like him getting under their feet. He’ll be making regular appearances of his own in Halifax.

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