Visit Hayes Garden Centre
Christmas would not be complete for any Barrovian without a trip up the Lakes to visit Hayes. In fact (in true M&S style) any Barrovian will persist that this is not just your everyday garden centre: THIS IS HAYES! The trees, the music, the lights, the atmosphere, even the sparkly baubles – it’s almost TOO much excitement for our little town to handle.
At Christmas, it’s standard procedure for Barrovians to stroll around the superior town of Ulverston pretending to be sophisticated souls who love nothing more than reading classical literature and eating roasted chestnuts. That is what Dickensian Festival (or #DICKFEST) is all about! Truth be told, the real appeal is getting pissed on mulled wine at lunch time whilst having a giggle at the costumes.
Attend the ‘Big’ Switch On
This comes hand in hand with moaning about how shit it is and trying to weigh up how it actually manages to get more shit with each passing year. Buying a flashing pair of bunny ears also feels absolutely necessary, despite having bugger all to do with Christmas. Grumbling at the expense of said bunny ears is also compulsory.
Moan about How Cold It Is
The people of Barrow love to do this! We are the grumpiest humbugs when it comes to groaning at declining temperatures and 90% of our conversations actually include the words “Baltic” and “bloody freezin’!”. That said, we are seemingly complex individuals as we pray for snow every year regardless of this and even jump for joy when it begins to fall.
Drive Around to Look at Christmas Lights
We are creatures of habit that like to take the same route every year. We know exactly what to expect but we still act surprised at the regular knock outs. For example, Abbey House and that house in Dalton – they steal the top spots every year but we still feel it’s absolutely necessary to do the annual tour complete with obligatory ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’.
Eat Chinese Food
Even though it has no link whatsoever to the festive period, ordering a Chinese takeaway is a very significant part of a Barrovian Christmas. For reasons we can’t explain, spring rolls, curry and salt pepper chips have never tasted as good as they do when teamed with Love Actually or another soppy Christmas film (and a box of mince pies for dessert).
Black Eye Friday
Hitting Barrow Town on Black Eye Friday is a decision immediately regretted by every single person behind it. Nevertheless, each year sees hundreds of people flock into town for a ridiculous amount of drinks, an annual bust up and an inevitable hangover bad enough to make the most festive of fiends wish for Christmas to be over.
Grab a Festive Hot Chocolate from Costa Coffee
It’s an absolute must to buy the sickliest, most expensive hot chocolate doused in sauce, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows and whatever else we can squeeze in. It’s also important to admire our Santa cups and proudly post pictures of them on Facebook. These days, it’s even more exciting than ever as we have THREE Costa Coffee shops to choose from (to join the two Subways, two McDonalds, two Greggs and an entire family of Tesco’s!).