All I want for Christmas…Is Something Interesting To Do!

The Tab’s guide to what’s on in the capital this Christmas

So you’ve stocked up on mulled wine, hung up the tinsel and bought (most) of the
presents, yet you’ve not really got that festive feeling yet. Maybe you’re the modern
day Ebenezer Scrooge, to whom the thought of another round of advent calendars and
turkey prompts a swift “bah, humbug!”, and are thus is need of some vaguely festive
diversion to drag you through the next few weeks. Or perhaps you’re the type of
Christmas nut who has already stockpiled crackers and is playing Mariah on full blast
at all hours of the day (yes, person down the corridor, I’m looking at YOU). Here are
some of the best things to do in London this Christmas-time:

The Pogues, The O2 Arena, 20th December. Tickets available online
Move quickly if you fancy this one, because tickets are nearly sold out and it would be a shame to miss out on Ireland’s finest export since Jameson whiskey. Although the O2 does seem a rather strange choice of venue for what are essentially a punked-up folk band, Shane McGowan will be wasted which means that you can legitimately be wasted too! Audience interaction. When I saw The Pogues in the summer they were nothing short of riotous: hopefully they will bring those levels of energy to London and everyone can wish they were Irish (don’t we all). And yes, they probably will play Fairytale of New York. And considering that this is one of the few Christmas songs you can legitimately admit to liking ironically  this is nothing short of brilliant.

Ice Skating, Somerset House and the Natural History Museum
What can be more seasonal than being wrapped up in winter woollies, slipping
around on an ice rink in ungainly fashion as the smell of mulled wine hits you in the
nostrils and bystanders laugh as you fall over for the umpteenth time? Both Somerset
House and the Natural History Museum see the return of their Christmas outdoor ice skating rinks, allowing punters to live out their Torvill and Dean dreams set against the backdrop of some stunning architecture. Don’t laugh at children crashing into the sides of the rink or slipping over and looking startled – it is inevitable, and funny, that they will do this but resist the urge to be cruel.

UCL Carol Service, St Pancras Church, 10th December, 6.30pm
They are particularly suited for the student who has blown all of their budget on Christmas presents, or (more likely) on Sainsbury’s Basics vodka, as many of them are free! Even if you’re not particularly religious, celebrating the traditional side of Christmas adds a lovely depth to the festive season; most of the services raise money for charity as well, so you don’t have to feel as guilty about the illicit mince pie you gobbled at the end.

Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, Bloomsbury Theater, 16th – 20th
However, for those of you who truly are the Godless Lot of Gower Street, this secular mash-up of comedy, lectures and science may be more up your (tin of Quality) street. Although it doesn’t look particularly festive, it promises to be an engaging and challenging evening featuring some prominent names including Robin Ince, Darren Hayman and Josie Long.

Lifted Music Christmas Party with Spor, 22nd December, Cable Nightclub
Although I wouldn’t bother wearing your sequinned seasonal finery to Cable (its dark, smelly and a bit damp) this promises to be the perfect Christmas party for those who like their electronic music heavy and their nights to end with a breakfast kebab on the bus home. Bass and beats replace the turkey as an excellent line-up of cutting edge DJs will keep revelers dancing until the small hours of the morning; a night at Cable never fails to disappoint, even if you might need the rest of the holidays to recover.

And if you’re completely skint…

Christmas lights on Oxford Street – everyone loves sparkly things!

Volunteer for a charity and help out the needy and underprivileged over the festive
period. See for details.

Get some cheap wool and knitting needles from a charity shop and make a cosy
scarf… or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, a garish Christmas jumper. Why
not pop along to a UCL Knitting Society meeting for inspiration?

Downton Abbey Christmas Special drinking game. Enough said.

Make some lovely wine gum vodka to give as presents – much MUCH nicer than it
sounds, and is a better use for the inevitable sweeties that will creep into your house.
Chuck about fifteen red wine gums and some frozen cherries into a litre bottle of
vodka. Put the bottle in a dishwasher (bizarre but true) and shake to mix. Drink it. Be

Happy Christmas Tab Readers!