10 signs Christmas is on its way in Sunderland

Pick up a festive bake and start browsing Christmas jumpers - 'tis almost the season to be jolly.

Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 2:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 4:49 pm
Christmas is coming to Sunderland

Here are ten sure-fire signs you know Christmas is coming quicker than you think in Sunderland:

You won't have to go far in the city centre before you see someone with one of these. So popular have they become, Greggs even launched a dedicated countdown website for its festive bake. They went on sale on November 8, one of the earliest signs of Christmas in the city.
Since the dawning of Starbucks' signature red cup, coffee shops have gone all-out on festive vessels for their drinks at Christmas - with a seasonal twist to many of their beverages t'boot. It feels like the Christmas cups have been out since before Halloween this year. Environmentally-conscious caffeine addicts may even be packing their own festive-themed reusable cups.

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As soon as Novembers pay packet has landed, expect to see overloaded shoppers plodding on like brave little donkeys with a precious load of shopping bags mangling their hands as Christmas shopping begins in earnest.
Theres now little more than a week to go until the Christmas lights go on in Sunderland, prompting families to start putting up their own decorations and see the city take on a festive glow. The city centre switch-on takes place in Keel Square on Thursday November 22.
Without getting into a cultural debate on its origins, St Nicks favourite colours are handily the same as that of of Sunderlands beloved football team (perhaps hes a Sunderland fan?) - making the Santa had the perfect headgear of choice when attending those cold winter games in the run up to Christmas.
Would-be Torvill and Deans will be whizzing - or perhaps stumbling - about the Keel Square ice rink very soon, with the centrepiece of the citys festive village open from November 29.
Mrs Claus and her elves, reindeer and disciples in festive knitwear will be out in force in Sunderlands nightspots once December arrives, bringing with it Christmas party season and the new tradition of the Christmas jumper night out. Not to mention Black Eye Friday.
Expect to see cats, dogs and other animals adorned with santa hats, Christmassy collars and all manner of festive garb as the folk of Sunderland post pictures of their pets getting into the seasonal spirit.
The clock is ticking tick-tock-tick-tock as the curtain prepares to go up on this years pantomime. Peter Pan is due to open at the Sunderland Empire on December 14. The Edwardian theatres annual Christmas show is stitched into the festive fabric of Wearside, and tickets for the most in-demand dates are already being snapped up at a rate of knots.
A highlight of Sunderlands festive calendar. It takes place after the big day itself, of course - but if you want to do it, you should probably have signed up by now. Get your entries in.