It’s here – the festive madness has begun. In every shop window garish, tinsel swathed displays shimmer in the glow of street lamps working overtime through the longer nights. Every newspaper and magazine offers list after list of ‘best buys under £5’, ‘under £10’, ‘under £20’, while Mariah Carey does her best RnB yodel, claiming that all she wants for Christmas is us. Which is clearly a lie – Mariah would obviously prefer something modest like a pair of crystal embossed roller skates or a talking pet kangaroo that knits and lays popcorn.

However, cynicism and weird images aside, early December will see the start of a truly FEASTive season. With our Winter Lights extravaganza on Saturday 1st December and a spectacular Christmas FEAST on Sunday 2nd December, we’re aiming to have West Norwood brimming with seasonal goodwill and festive cheer by the end of the weekend.

It’ll be hard not to have a smile on your face as you walk down the high street next month – delicious treats on sale at Blackbird Bakery, Christmas trees and wreaths available at Floral Hall, seasonal cheese and charcuterie at Beamish & McGlue, plus some of the most creative window dressing this side of SE27. Most importantly however, will be the Christmas tree, situated on the traffic island below St Luke’s Church. Donated by Sally Nash from Floral Hall, paid for by Norwood Action Group, Norwood Forum and FEAST, this tree will be a symbol of the way in which West Norwood operates – as a unit, as a supportive group, as a community.

So, while you tut and raise your eyes at the over-the-top-ness of it all, remember that in a small corner of town, somewhere between Dulwich, Tulse Hill, Crystal Palace and Streatham, a small band of locals are working, elf-like, to make this the most genuine, heartfelt and fun Christmas there ever was. And that’s really down to you, the West Norwood community. Thanks for making this possible.