If you are starting to feel unashamedly festive, becoming misty-eyed at the thought of twinkly lights and pineneedles stuck in the carpet, then console yourself with the idea of a trip to Tatton Park. As usual, the mansion will be decorated in traditional style (think the gingham-inspired covers of home & garden magazines round about this time of year) and if you can block the crowds out, you can pretty much swan about pretending that it's all yours.
The best time to visit is on one of the "Tatton by Candlelight" evenings, when you can suspend your cynicism for the night and wander through all the Staterooms lit by candles (the rooms, not you), accompanied by live music from choirs, musicians and - yes, really - bell ringers. Your ticket also allows entry to a traditional Gift Fair, and all the shops are open late to allow the buying of overpriced but charming tat for Aunty and Grandma.
The evenings run from 6.30 - 9pm (last entry 8.30) on Wed 3rd Dec to Fri 5th Dec, and Sat 6th Dec from 5.30 - 8pm (brilliant! home in time for x-factor!). Adult tickets cost £6.50, with children's tickets at £3.50. For more details and to book, call Tatton Park on 01625 374400.