Anxiety and anticipation has once again affected the streets of Caterham in recent weeks but local residents and businesses are ensuring that the Christmas spirit is alive in December with various events planned.
The festive season has not been forgotten and an added sparkle of Christmas Cheer has been delivered as both the Caterham Valley, Caterham On the Hill and Cedar Tree lights were switched on at the end of last month.
In previous years up to a thousand residents would gather on Caterhams’ High Street to watch the Cedar tree lights being switched on, listen to carol singers and sample all sorts of wintery goodies. Similarly, the valley would see the Christmas Fair at The Soper Hall and festive fun aligning the streets of Croydon Road.
The outbreak of COVID – 19 this year has meant that local people have had to adapt and make exceptions to these traditions and create an alternative Christmas for the community.
In accordance with Government Guidelines nonessential businesses and shops have been able to once again open. Whether located on the High Street or in Caterham Valley, click and collect options together with a home- delivery service was offered by some businesses however local residents are now able to visit their favourite stores and discover an array of gift ideas for the season.
The Family Festive Hub has been created online at:churchwalkcaterham.com and offers at home activities to families and children during the month of December. Various competitions leading to a prize draw is encouraging families to become more involved with their community. Activities range from designing your own bauble through to preparing simple Christmas delights have been created and along the way there is the opportunity to earn points which can be exchanged for prizes.
The Santa Tour organised by The Caterham Rotary Group will be once again travelling through Caterham, Whyteleafe and Warlingham this month giving families the not to be missed opportunity of waving at Santa safely from their homes. In adherence with Government policy Santa will be able to wave from his sleigh while observing strict social distancing. Donations cannot be given to the elves in the traditional way but there is a QR Code which residents are able to scan prior to the event by visiting www.caterhamrotary.org.
Valley businesses have created their own festive version of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ which features many of the local businesses performing their rendition of traditional song. This can be found on the ‘Caterham Valley for You’ Facebook page and brings Christmas spirit to the town.
East Surrey Museum will be once again reopening its doors and featuring the St Lawrences Hospital exhibition. Their museum show offers unique and innovative Christmas gifts for children as well as many books covering the local history.
Once again we are able to support the scouts but posting our local Christmas cards in one of the eight boxes placed across the Valley and the Hill. The scouts will then deliver them to local addresses by the 21st December.
Restaurants are open and able to offer us festive menus so wether it be that quick cup of coffee, avocado and egg on sourdough or an evening meal, let’s support each other through this pandemic.
Let’s put our Christmas hats on and enjoy our towns festivities. ‘Happy Christmas Caterham’ and wishing you all support and kindness over this festive period and the end of a very difficult year.