Creativity Magazine

Shining Like a Star

Posted on the 12 December 2013 by Miscriant @miscriant
There is something I am completely gutted about this year.  Canterbury has decided that we won't be having Christmas lights up in the highstreet.  It is all to do with budgets and cost cutting measures but right now our high street feels dark, dismal and well, rather scroogish to be honest.  I do understand that making a high street sparkly is a bit frivolous in light of other spending requirements (social gain projects, road repairs etc) but still, you can't help feeling a bit sad when you are out and about Christmas shopping at the moment.
Brighton on the other hand was lit up like a, well, like a Christmas tree, shining like that star from the Christmas carol and generally sparkling.
Shining like a StarThe Lanes are a wonderful area just to walk through, darting in and out of the little independent shops, stocking up on presents and gifts (for other people as well as yourself) and just generally drinking in the Christmas spirit!  Each little alley leads to something new and exciting, there is just so much to look at that it would be impossible to visit it all in one visit.
The high walls, old buildings, wrought iron and street signs hanging over your heards as well as the old style lamposts and lead pane windows did make you feel like you were back in Dickens' Christmas Carol, just waiting for the Ghost of Christmas Present to start belting out "It Feels Like Christmas".
Shining like a StarShining like a StarShining like a StarWindow displays are imaginative and often a little strange! The woodland animals I thought were a little creepy but the rocket penguin was absolutely fantastic!
Shining like a StarShining like a StarShining like a StarBrighton is known for being a diverse town, one that allows people to be themselves and during the course of our wanderings we saw Morris Dancers, a couple dressed in a captains uniform and a sailor dress, steam punk, killer heels and short skirts and every type of hat you could imagine.  People here are free to express themselves without fear of being looked at strangely, or worse, verbally or physically attacked and this amiability creates a wonderful atmosphere.  This diversity has also led to a plethora of restaurants, bars, tea houses and coffee shops, most of whom are independently run.  As you walk through the streets the smell of hundreds of multicultural restaurants pervade and mingle in the frosty air.
Shining like a StarShining like a StarShining like a StarIt's the type of atmosphere that makes you want to shop with a fur stole and muff, carrying hat boxes decorated with bright stripes and giant bows and laden with parcels wrapped in brown paper and string, then making your way home by horse and carriage to drink mulled wine in the parlour as you await your evening guests for a sing along around the piano.
Shining like a StarShining like a StarCanterbury, I know that money is tight at the moment and I do understand why we don't have any lights right now but even so, I can't help feel a bit sad at our lack of Christmas cheer!  It is strange how intrinsically linked Christmas and light are together, even if that light is metaphorical and simply represents hope for the future, good will towards men and women, and the light that we try to carry within ourselves.  I may well be reading FAR too much into this but it does feel like Canterbury has had hope put out. 
Brighton, you keep shining.

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