We're quite happy with the given name of Southbank Centre's "Winter Festival" as it means we can start getting Christmassy in October without actually using the C-word and enduring all the self-loathing that comes with it. The festival itself begins early next month, but tickets are on sale now for the shows and entertainment.
Family theatre show Slava's Snowshow (pictured above) is back for the fourth year, bringing a blizzard of snow inside Royal Festival Hall. Griff Rhys Jones narrates a rehearsed reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (which sold out last year, and gets extra festive points for having carols and mince pies thrown-in).
By the time it's actually permissible to feel a little bit Christmassy, there's a singalong evening, where you can get your lungs around the best of the Christmas tunes, as well as some good old festive numbers. We reckon LA SOIRÉE's cabaret show might make a good alternative to the usual Christmas party ideas, and it's on for the duration of the festival.
Comedian Dave Gorman's also in the mix. We're not sure what he's got to do with Christmas but hey-ho, his show runs 16-19 December. And once the mince pies are all gone and the turkey's a distant memory, see in 2015 at a Vintage New Years Eve Party, which spans the entirety of Southbank Centre with six vintage nightclubs, a hair and beauty salon, photo studios and a chance to watch the all-important fireworks. This one always sells out, and with the news that there's a charge to watch the fireworks close up this year, it's bound to be extra-popular.
Alongside these events, there's a Christmas Market, Christmas Tree Cafe, Christmas Tree Maze...OK, maybe there's no avoiding the C word after all.
Southbank Winter Festival runs 5 November-10 January. Tickets are on sale now.