The real Santa Claus descended from Korvatunturi in northern Finland to light the giant Christmas tree on Cathedral square. The giant tree made it again into the top ten of most beautiful trees in Europe, possibly anywhere. The surrounding Christmas stalls offer typical Christmas goods as well as more typical market offerings.
The nearby Hotel Kempinski boasts possibly the finest indoor Christmas tree. The sumptuousness tree manages to mix opulence with a beautiful dose of nostalgia, looking as elegant as the hotel that is its host for the most festive month of the year.
Last Saturday the International Christmas Charity Bazaar, the 'do good' event of the season, saw the very same Finnish Santa posing for photographs with all well-behaved children. A second official tree was inaugurated on Saturday afternoon in front of the City Hall (Rotušė).
The classic looking tree is surrounded by some beautiful bright-lit pods looking a bit like a cross between igloos and light bulbs. These are this year's fancy looking Christmas market stalls and dazzling looking light beacons in these grey year-end days.
All over town, shop and restaurant owners have been busy preparing and slipping into one of the finest seasons with fabulous lights and colourful displays. Just off Vokiečių gatve, on the communal table of Theobromine chocolatier, a group of woman and children were busy preparing Christmas decorations. Lovely advent and Christmas wreaths prepared with a variety of seasonal colours. One cannot leave that shop without noticing the colourful display of artisanal Belgian chocolates, made right on the premises. It looks like the place where it is Christmas all year round.