December is upon us and while you may have forgotten to buy an advent calendar, help is at hand to navigate this busiest of all social seasons. From carolling to ice-skating, via theatres, football stadiums and any number of artisanal mince pies, we're here to gently usher you through the Christmas month with a day-by-day guide to festive events. Get your mulled wine and your diary - Christmas is coming...
And if that strikes fear into your off-key heart, rest assured it's okay to listen to professionals singing tunefully. There are carol services happening all over the country, including mulled wine and mince pies at Kensington Palace and a MOBO-nominated gospel choir at Carols by Candlelight. The Varsity Hotel & Spa in Cambridge is hosting a service on its stunning rooftop gardens against the backdrop of the Cambridge skyline, performed by leading choristers from Cambridge University.
DATES: Varsity Hotel's rooftop carol service is on the 15th December
TICKETS: Book here
Image: Varsity Hotel & Spa
As part of their live season, the Royal Opera House's production of Alice in Wonderland will be screened live from its London location to cinemas around the country. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s thrillingly entertaining ballet from the comfort of your local big screen.
DATE: 16th December
TICKETS: Contact your local cinema
Christmas is an ideal time to get into the chilly spirit of things with a trip to London's Icebar - where, as you may have guessed, everything is made of ice. Booking is essential at this time of year, and the bar offers a number of food and drink packages if you're considering a little festive party. There's an entry fee, but it includes a drink and a thermal cape - you'll need it.
TICKETS: Book through their website
If you've got small children to entertain and Santa's grotto can't cut it anymore, try an engrossing hour of puppet fun. Jabberwocky is for children aged 6 and up, while Cindermouse is aimed at ages 3 - 8. Both are on at the Little Angel Theatre in London and Cindermouse even offers baby-friendly shows.
DATES: Until 1st February
TICKETS: From £12, visit the website here
Image: Little Angel Theatre
The 'Palace of the Snow Queen' is a Christmas party destination, combining spectacular cabaret and circus entertainment with gourmet fine dining and after-hours revelry, including hosts and hostesses costumed as mythical creatures, an interactive theatrical photo booth and DJs. The location is kept a secret, but we do know it's two minutes walk from Old Street station. Oh, and there's a dress code of dark fairy tales, Narnia, white and silver, Winter Wonderland. Love it.
DATES: 4, 6, 11, 12, 19 December
Image: Black Cat Cabaret
It may be fitting that a location well used to melodrama and known as the 'Theatre of Dreams' will become a huge drive-in cinema over the Christmas period. From the 19th December until Christmas Eve, audiences can pay £26 per car (not per person) to watch classics at Old Trafford, such as Home Alone, Elf and - for those not yet driven insane - a special sing-a-long version of Frozen on the world's biggest outdoor LED screen.
DATES: From 19th - 24th December
TICKETS: £26 per car. Visit https://christmasmovies.co.uk/ for more information
By this point, all is lost on any healthy-eating front. The Southbank Centre's Winter Festival (running until 11th January 2015) has a five-day Christmas Real Food Market from the 19th until the 23rd December, including all its usual ethically-produced food and drink, but with added festive sparkle. Yum.
DATES: Food Market 19th - 23rd December, Winter Festival until 11th January 2015
TICKETS: Free. Visit the website for more details
Image: Southbank Centre
The story of a man with deadly blades instead of fingers was always a rather unlikely Christmas favourite, but a favourite it is and you can see it onstage at Sadler's Wells in London until 11th January 2015.
DATES: Until 11th January 2015
TICKETS: Book tickets here
Image: Sadler's Wells
Who'd have thought such a short book could string out to three Christmases' worth of films? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is set for UK release on 12th December, but you may as well bypass the eager beavers lining up for the first showings.
DATES: From 12th December
TICKETS: Contact your local cinema
Oh, did you think we were going to say put your feet up? Squeeze in some extra busy, but extra festive, shopping hours in some of London's finest shopping emporiums. Or sit at home in your dressing gown wondering if a fourth Prosecco is a Prosecco too much. It is Christmas Eve, after all.