On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… mince pies, Fraser firs, carol singers, naughty elves, mulled wine, secret Santa, office parties, turkey roasts, angels, red coffee cups, gingerbread houses, tinsel, mistletoe, chocolate oranges, flying reindeer, scented candles, baubles, stockings, fizz, speeches, Love Actually, nativity plays, cheese boards, family lunches, presents, gold coins and a whole lot of festive cheer.

What’s not to love about December? Even the crisp cold air and dark afternoons feel romantic under sparkling Christmas lights.

La Scala Coffee House was the star of the Time Out London awards last month when they took home the prize for best coffee shop in Dulwich and East Dulwich!

Also in the spotlight was the Dulwich Literary Festival, who hosted events with some of the best-known names in politics, fiction, poetry and history.

West Dulwich had its chance to shine at the Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair where a Santa’s grotto, arts and crafts market and live music got everyone in a very merry mood.

Whether this time of year makes you feel like a big kid, or has you hiding in the kitchen glugging mulled wine until it’s all over, there is no denying that our fabulous community really does pull out all the stops to provide joyful family entertainment. There are Christmas events happening all over Dulwich this month.

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust kicked off the local festivities with its Christmas party on 1st December. All money raised on the night will be split between the Trust and Football Beyond Borders, the club’s charity partner next year.

North Cross Road hosted a street festival with all the trimmings when the Christmas Cracker returned on Saturday 3rd December. As well as a festive market, there was arts and crafts, a Christmas jumper competition judged by the East Dulwich WI, a kids disco and exclusive offers from local traders and businesses. The event was compèred by local comedy duo, the Scummy Mummies, whose book of the same name is out early next year and is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery will light up and come to life from 6th – 18th December. You will be able to create a festive family photo at a giant magical frame in the grounds, visit the enchanted cottage where Christmas storytelling awaits and listen to roaming choirs delight your ears with seasonal songs.

The Dulwich Charity Lunch is back at The Palmerston on 8th December. Once again the lunch will raise much-needed funds for local charity Link Age Southwark (formerly Dulwich Helpline & Southwark Church Care).

Forest Hill will perform a live nativity on 17th. You can journey with Mary, Joseph and their donkey along Dartmouth Road to Bethlehem (Holy Trinity Church).

It really is the most wonderful time of year.

As always, you can find details of all local news, events and ticket information over on our events page. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @arounddulwich.

This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of SE22 magazine.