Breaking the Christmas tradition of chaos

Following decades of spectacular Christmas preparation fails, Sam Wonfor has promised herself this year’s going to different… starting tonight.

As is pretty much always the case in our house, the realisation it’s only a matter of a days before the shuffle button is tapped on the Christmas family playlist brings with it the familiar wave of pre-seasonal panic, sprinkled with a glittery dust of (s)elf-loathing.

Memories of Christmas Eves gone by play on a loop – port-soaked and pebbledashed with thoroughly unfestive sentiments as time hurtles towards midnight and our front room plays host to another present-wrapping world record attempt.

Just once I’d like to spend Christmas Eve snuggled up in a pair of goodwill-sponsored pyjamas, gently sipping sherry – as opposed to knocking it back like Rudolph’s life depended on it – while we all agree on the perfect festive film to watch before taking a charming ‘one more sleep ‘til Santa’ selfie and settling down for a full eight hours before the Christmas morning chaos kicks in.

Bloody Twinterestagram…

Every single Christmas Eve I place my hand on the pile of Christmas cards I should have sent weeks ago and vow that this is the absolute last time we’re getting in this last-minute mess… and that next year, every last bit of yuletide prep shenanigans will be sorted, wrapped and mummified in tinsel by mid-December(ish), freeing us all up to absorb the spirits of the season with a genuine smile as opposed to one sporting gritted teeth as its centrepiece.

And do you know what, since firing up Only In Newcastle and making it my business to get in amongst more and more of the brilliant stuff going on across Newcastle and Gateshead, I really think I might do it this year.

Channeled through Instagram, clockwise from top left: Olive and Clay, Kate Gorman, Crescent Fifty One, Purls Bizarre, Make and Mend Co and  Pier74 who are among the makers and creators at the Thoughtful Night Market: Winter Edit 2018

I’m starting tonight (Nov 17) with a mooch around the third outing of the Thoughtful Night Market: Winter Edit 2018 over at the very wonderful Thought Foundation in Birtley.

Organised and co-hosted with the equally cracking joy-spreaders, The Crafthood, the market, which kicks off at 5pm, will be rammed with stalls from some of the region’s best creative businesses to ensure shopping urges and Christmas lists are well catered for.

Furniture, jewellery, artwork, food, drink, ceramics and accessories for body and home are among the many delights which will be available for perusing.

There’ll also be live music, lush food and drinks, demonstrations, taster sessions and Christmas-flavoured workshops (although the latter were available for pre-booking, so don’t leave home without your lucky charm).

If you are feeling lucky, then there are a couple of goodie bag drops to look out for too. *sharpens elbows*

The first 25 people through the door after 5pm, and then the 25 who arrive first after 7.30pm will be getting a kickstart to their treat tally chart

I mean, genuinely, what is not to love about all of this?

The Thoughtful Night Market will take place from 5pm to 9.30pm at the Thought Foundation, Durham Road, Birtley, Gateshead DH3 2TB.
Entry is £3.50 with a percentage going to this year’s chosen charity,  Help Refugees. See you there. I’ll be the one looking excited and ever so slightly smug.

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