11 great things about Christmas in the North East

What's your favourite thing about Christmas? Thousands watched while the festive lights were switched on in Sunderland this year.
What's your favourite thing about Christmas? Thousands watched while the festive lights were switched on in Sunderland this year.

We asked you what your favourite thing is about the festive season - whether it's to do with presents, events or friends and family.

Everyone's Christmas is different, so we wanted to know what helps yours to be special - and what makes all of the rushing around, wrapping and cooking worth it!

We included some of our own favourite things about the season too - so don't forget to let us know yours and we'll keep adding to the list. Thanks to everyone who has sent in their favourite things so far.

Getting a Christmas card

Writing out the cards can be a tedious task, but there's no feeling like having one drop through your letter box. Whether it's from your parents, your best friend or someone you haven't spoken to for ages, it's nice to know that someone has thought of you enough to send a card.

Watching your children open presents

"I love to see the children's faces on Christmas Day when they get their presents. It's well worth waiting for." (Dawn Beddell)

Enjoying a delicious Christmas lunch

"Family gatherings for traditional dinner and relaxing." (Sharon Cleminson)

The company

"Spending it with my family in this great city [Sunderland]." (Wendy Brown Lorden)

The food

We know you can probably get pigs in blankets at other times in the year, and Terry's Chocolate Oranges are definitely available. But would they taste the same outside of the Christmas season? We don't think so. P.S. mince pies!

Acting as Santa Claus

"I love Christmas being with the family and friends, giving presents." (Pat Smith)

The decorations and buzz

"I don't celebrate Christmas but absolutely adore the buzz around it. I love the lights on people's houses and love the kids nativity plays." (Nejan Rahman)

Getting the family together for a do

"All of my loved ones being together." (Derick Baster)

Festive books, films and music

Is there anything more magical than reading A Christmas Carol as December 25 approaches? What's better than listening to The Pogues as you sip a glass of mulled wine? And let's not forget the obligatory viewing of Home Alone.

The weather

"The silence in the snow." (Roland Mortimer)

Christmas lights

"In South Shields I love the lights next to Asda, it looks like a wonderland." (Kristina Bishop)