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North London’s ‘first’ live Christmas advent calendar comes to Highgate

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 November 2015

Traders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, Louise Lewis, Allan Rapley and Emine Gokturk  launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Traders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, Louise Lewis, Allan Rapley and Emine Gokturk launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

For adults and children, the suspense of waiting each day to find out what is underneath the window of your advent calendar is one of the joys of the Christmas season.

Traders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Louise Lewis, Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, David Weldon, Rachel Toler and Allan Rapley launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel SuttonTraders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Louise Lewis, Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, David Weldon, Rachel Toler and Allan Rapley launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel Sutton

But this year visitors to Highgate will get an extra daily surprise in the month of December, as shops will unveil a gift hidden in a special festive window display every day before Christmas.

Called a “live advent calendar”, the project launched by Highgate business owners and the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum (HNF) is thought to be the first ever attempted in north London.

Twenty-four shops in Highgate High Street, Aylmer Parade and Archway Road are taking part.

HNF committee member Louise Lewis, who came up with the idea, said: “We want to bring the community together and have some fun. But it also highlights the remarkable variety of shops we have in the area and we hope that it will encourage people to visit them and shop locally.

“Our plan is all about retaining and encouraging the local community and local businesses.

“I believe that this is north London’s first-ever, live, on-the-ground advent calendar.”

Presents valued at between £5 and £10 will be unveiled in shop windows each day.

Using a calendar “map” of the businesses taking part, shoppers are then invited to write down what they think the gift is on an entry form, before returning their answers to one of the shops by December 31.

They will then be in with a chance of winning a prize of one of the gifts that has been on display in the shop windows.

Shops taking part include Notsobig children’s clothes shop, and Highgate Vet in the high street, with Postal Plus post office in Archway Road kicking off the calendar on Tuesday.

To download a calendar entry form, visit highgateneighbourhoodforum.org.uk.

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