Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends, having lots of fun and nowadays there are many different ways you can do this. The introduction of newer attractions in London such as Winter Wonderland and the many open air ice rinks promise great times to be spent with family, but are people forgetting the real reasons for Christmas in the process?

The magical lantern festival held in Chiswick Gardens lasts through the Christmas season. More than 50 lanterns feature, ranging in a variety of shapes, sizes and colour. In the three years since it has been running, thousands of people have enjoyed this spectacle.

Winter Wonderland is an entertainment park now in its tenth year and is situated in Hyde Park. At Christmas time, it opens, providing many amazing rides and attractions, live music and even the circus for children and adults alike to enjoy.

However, these attractions are not cheap and for businesses, Christmas has become all about how much money can be made. Families now are more likely to go out to an attraction than spend time at home making handmade decorations or baking Christmas gingerbread.

Christmas should be a carefree time, to relax with no school or work, but children desperately begging their parents to take them to these attractions puts new pressures on their pockets. The real meaning is quickly forgotten and Christmas becomes stressful instead of peaceful. We should all try to remember the simple pleasures of Christmas and being with family.

Grace Davies

Gumley House Convent School