And it’s happened again. Christmas is fast approaching, December is here and I’m not certain I’m ready, will I ever be?

In keeping with the festive spirit, which is creeping up on me, did you see the Ghost Caribou at Malton’s Christmas lights switch-on last week?

What a fantastic show. It makes me think we could be even more ambitious next year and have a lights parade or a Festival of

Christmas Lights.

As always, the really special thing about Malton at this time of year is that it really is your one-stop-shop for presents.

You truly can get just about everything in town for stocking fillers, under the tree and especially for the dinner table.

Some of my personal favourites are Costello’s sausage rolls and award-winning rabbit pies, perfect at this time of year and of course those Brussel sprouts at Paley’s or Dales are a must.

A Yorkshire Pot (a bird inside a bird, inside a bird and so on) from Derek Fox is a marvellous ‘Game Of Thrones’ type dish and is one of Malton’s more unusual specialities!

There’s a whole host of festive food at Malton Relish, including panettone, figgy pudding and my favourite - Mrs Bell’s blue cheese.

You can get your vegan mince pies and other goodies at The Purple Carrot and there’s nothing like a great festive pizza at La Pizzeria.

If you haven’t seen their wood fire oven then please do so soon, very warm and inviting at this time of year.

The menu at The New Malton is a treat as always and of course Mennells chocolate shop is unsurpassed for its traditional charm.

Over in Talbot Yard, Rare Bird Gin now have gift vouchers available to make present buying and gin drinking even easier.

Florian Poirot has his remarkable chocolate Christmas trees, edible Santas and brand new mince pie macarons to tempt you.

Seasonal gelato specials at Groovy Moo include Christmas pudding and Turkish delight flavours and Roost have a lovely range of stockings upcycled from used coffee sacks.

If it’s a Christmas tipple you are looking for then Brass Castle Brewery have award winning beers, Maison Du Vin is the place to go for speciality wines and there’s a huge range of craft gins and select whisky available at McMillans.

Naturally there’s much more to Malton than just great food.

Kemps and Plum are both havens of beautiful and unusual gifts.

If you want to spruce up your home there are fab interiors and accessories to purchase from Hare & Wilde, Bowley and Jackson and the huge showroom at 9 to 11.

The Shambles is also definitely worth a look with loads of charming antiques, curiosities, crafts and gifts to buy.

Talking of crafts, you can try your hand at wreath making this year with classes all over the place from Horsley’s Florists and The Topiary Tree or you can even learn to make your own gingerbread house at YO Bakehouse.

Don’t forget the excellent Dickens Festival taking place on various dates across December, and last but definitely not least Visit Malton hosts the final event of year - the Malton Christmas Food and Gift Market.

The market will be running for two days on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9.

It’s more like a festival these days and importantly has much more than just food.

There will be all the usual much loved stalls, but also a whole sled load of crafts, stocking fillers and wonderful gift ideas.

For more information see

In short we have tried to make shopping in Malton this Christmas as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

Enjoy the festivities and I wish a very happy Christmas to one and all!