10 signs Christmas is coming in South Shields

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

Christmas is coming in South Shields
Christmas is coming in South Shields

Christmas seems to come earlier every year, but here are 10 signs which make you know the festive season is finally upon us in South Shields.

South Shields has now taken on a festive glow to help people get into the festive spirit. The weather could have been better, but the Christmas lights switch-on took place on Thursday with X Factor veterans Jedward helping flick the switch.
You won't have to go far in the town 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 Shields.
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.
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.
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.
There's a nice, cold sea right there - so why not jump in it? The annual Boxing Day Dip events are a great tradition in the town, and raise thousands for good causes. Expect to see calls to sign up coming soon.
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.
It's been going since 1994 and has been a town tradition ever since, oh yes it has! This year thousands of people will turn out for a night of fun at Beauty and the Beast. And as the Customs House has already started selling tickets for next year's pantomime, Snow White, you could say it is the very earliest sign of Christmas in South Shields!
The annual camel parade is now in its fifth year, and has become a firm favourite in the festive calendar. This year it takes place on Friday December 7, complete with Three Wise Men and the impressive Spark! drummers, which have become even as crucial as the camels to the parade.
There were two in the good old days, of course. But there's still nothing quite like heading into South Shields town centre and catching your first glimpse of the festive fir outside our beautiful town hall.