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  1. Newstatesman Gibraltar
8 December 2015

A very Gibraltarian Christmas

There’s no getting away from it – Christmas is on the way. Guy Clapperton has a look around what’s going on in Gibraltar for the big day.

By Guy Clapperton

Just over 2000 years ago a baby was born in the East. This, in the western world, has become either the cue for a deeply religious festival or a season of overindulgence, purchases people can barely afford and a colossal knees-up.

So, assuming this isn’t a religious website, what is there to do in the festive season if you’re either resident on or visiting the Rock? The answer is that there’s a great deal to do, whether you want to celebrate quietly, take in a show/exhibition or two or shop until your credit card begs for mercy.

Tomorrow evening, for example, there is a Christmas Concert by the King’s Chapel Singers with Andrea Simpson, Phillip Borge, Anthony Roper and the Loreto Middle School Choir at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. On Thursday 10th there will be Carols by Candlelight at the same venue. There is a charge for each of these events as there is for the Eve Appeal’s Winter Wonderland two days later at Boyd’s, King’s Bastion Leisure Centre, in aid of women’s cancers. Drinks at 7.30, choir at 8.00 and drinks, canapés and jazz from 9.00-11.00 – which sounds a decent and varied evening’s entertainment to us.

Cheaper to enter but with an intention of enticing money away from you anyway is the Craft and Collectors’ Christmas Fair, at St. Andrew’s Church, Governor’s Parade, this coming Saturday 12th. There is a complementary glass of mulled wine and mince pie to put you in an appreciative mood.

The Olive Press has a good article on the shopping (and some of the other events mentioned above) elements of the season. At the aforementioned King’s Bastion Leisure Centre you can go and see Santa during the day and emerge with a present, and all of the shops have their promotions on, from Marks and Spencer to Boots to the smaller independent stores, which will be of more interest to visitors (no disrespect intended to the chains but Gib can be a long way to go to find a brand you could have seen in Croydon town centre).

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Closer to the big day, on the 19th, is the Winter Party in Town at Casemates Square, John Mackintosh Square, Main Street and Chatham Counterguard. Finally before Christmas on the 20th there is the Christmas Spectacular at Boyd’s, Kings bastion Leisure Centre, from 1pm – and if you’ve overindulged on Christmas Day, consider fetching up at Casemates Square from 11am on Boxing Day for the Boxing Day Run.

The great and the good will be celebrating their own way. It’s a year old but this article explains what the Chief Minister’s family were doing on Christmas Day 2014 and you could guess they’re likely to be doing something similar this year; shrewd move, marrying someone who owns a restaurant, so you can close it for the day, have the family over and be certain there will be enough chairs. There will probably be substantial celebrations following the Chief Minister’s decisive re-election late last month.

And that’s kind of what Christmas is about for many people with or without religious beliefs – bringing families together and above all making sure there are enough chairs. This isn’t the last entry on this hub before the day itself but it was the best timing in terms of bringing details of as many of the events as we’ve been made aware of, so although we’ll be back next week we’ll wish readers every happiness of the season.

We should stress that the above is not intended as an exhaustive listing of Christmas events on Gibraltar but an attempt to offer a flavour of what’s happening – we apologise to any organisations of whose events we were unaware.