I LOVE Christmas, and I’m one of those people who cant wait to get my tree up (definitely not too early though).

Having grandchildren makes it all the more exciting and helps you get into the mood.

So when all the Christmas markets start appearing, its then you know its all starting.

Christmas markets... the ‘essence of Christmas’.

A short while ago, if you read the Echo, there was a double page, letting you know where, when and what we could see and experience at these traditional markets.

Every one enticed us with traditional Christmas stalls, smells (roast chestnuts maybe) and mulled wine.

Then there was Southampton’s effort, ‘Southampton’s Christmas Market...where you can enjoy an alcoholic drink’.

So here we are again with the same old, same old.

Its classed as a traditional German market. Well maybe the stalls are the right style and size, but what they are selling doesn’t match up to the idea of Christmas.

There’s a few who are selling fares, but the rest you could easily find at a Sunday morning car-boot sale.

I was put off last year by a T-shirt stall seller, who thought it was festive to display a T-shirt amongst his ‘adult’ Christmas T-shirts with the slogan ‘split me a spliff’. Thank goodness my grandchildren were unable to read at the time.

So here we are again, at a Christmas market dominated by a very large alcohol area.

Okay it does look like a scene you’d find in a German town, but I think you’ll find many people turning up in their Lederhosen, slapping their thighs, and wishing all a merry Christmas.

Seriously though, I like a drink at Christmas, and can understand how, after work, you feel you want to let your hair down and get in the festive mood. Been there, done that.

But why have, what boils down to it, is just an open air pub, and all that goes with it. Adult language, raucous laughter and loud music on the loop, dominating a Christmas market?

And why did whoever planned all this, site a building where children go to see Father Christmas slap bang next to it, right in earshot.

There are plenty of pubs to go to, or need be, why not put this building in below bar.

I’m not a humbug, and as I said enjoy pub atmosphere especially at Christmas, but when I , and im sure when many other parents and grandparents, take their children and grandchildren to experience the wonder of a Christmas market, I don’t really want to feel im walking through a pub garden to get to it.

Winchester, Romsey and all those other markets well done, you kept up the traditions and class, something Southampton seriously lacks.

Ah, and to top it all, we’re now famous for the ‘leaning tree of Guildhall Square’.

It quotes Cllr Satvir Kaur, as cabinet member for homes and culture at Southampton City Council, who oversee’s the Christmas offerings.

Please Cllr Kaur, rethink next years offerings in the precinct.

Happy Christmas

Mrs S Jones