Bah! Humbug! I must admit I am a bit of Scrooge when it comes to Xmas. However post bonfire night I am prepared to accept it is that time of year once again. So before the chaos begins here’s a taster of what Manchester will have to offer in terms of festive cheer.

1 ) Hallelujah for pretty, sparkly, twinkly things. Catch Mr Hudson and X Factor by-product Alexandra Burke switch on Manchester’s Christmas Lights in Albert Square – 7-8pm, 12th November 2009.

2 ) Cheers to Manchester Christmas Markets and multiple mugs of mulled wine *hic*. Enjoy a month of merriment from the 18th of November – 21st of December 2009.

3 ) Lets skate.. or in my case slip, slide, fall on my arse and make a complete t*t of myself. If your more Torvill and Dean than Bambi book your dancing on ice moment here.

4 ) He’s behind you… he being evil Tony Gordon of ‘The Street‘. Fingers crossed he won’t be hiring a hitman during the Opera House Manchester‘s production of Aladdin where he’ll be treading the boards as baddie Abanazar.

5 ) You don’t need to hike as far as the North Pole this Crimbo for a drinkie-poo. Head for Spinningfields where The North Pole, this winter’s finest watering hole will be able to oblige (I have to say I am intrigued by the vodka infused Winter Crumble) – and if your feeling peckish they’ll be serving pizzas c/o Strada. It all starts from the 12th of November 2009 until the 3rd of January 2010.

6 ) Stuff yourself silly, in traditional Xmas stylee, at Mr Thomas’s Chop House. Grub includes seasonal starter Mr Tom’s famous crispy corned beef hash cake, turkey dinner for mains and fig and dark chocolate sponge with lashings of warm chocolate sauce… Mmmmm.

7 ) There is nothing camper than Christmas at the Birdcage. You can spend the season of good will with the Stars and enjoy special festive frolics on the 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th and 21st of December. Book now to avoid disappointment!

8 ) Meet Father Christmas (okay maybe one for the kiddies) at Manchester Arndale‘s spectacular grotto – open from 21st of November 2009. You can even book online in advance to meet this tech-savvy Santa (whatever next elves on Facebook and tweeting Reindeer!?!?), and that means avoiding the queues… whoop, whoop!!!

9 ) Start jingling those bells earlier and see IMAX-tastic A Christmas Carol 3D at the Odeon Printworks… showing now.

10 ) Snow… okay this one might be a long shot, but I am sure we might get a little of the melted kind… commonly known as rain.

c/o patrick h. lauke licensed under Creative Commons.