It’s the most wonderful time of year – shops are bursting with festive fare, the nights are drawing in and Dundee is shining with Christmas lights.
Barely past Bonfire Night, many would argue that November is still too early for the festive season to begin.
But in Dundee it’s already in full swing with the Christmas tree standing tall at City Churches in a break from the traditional location of City Square.
An exercise in sustainability, the dressed, living tree shows a greener side to Christmas this year – a far cry from the giant tree outside Caird Hall from yesteryear.
We’ve taken a look back at our archives of festive fun in Dundee over the decades.
Dundee Rotary Club was responsible for the 300 coloured lights illuminating the large 42-foot Christmas tree in front of Caird Hall in 1952.
Seasonal music was played on an organ while a choir of Rockwell Secondary School pupils and former pupils sang “Unto Us a Son is born”.
The honour of turning on the lights that year went to Mrs Mearns, wife of the president of Dundee Rotary Club.
After the illumination ceremony, there was a two-hour programme of entertainment including singing and Scottish country dancing.
Compared to the dazzling display at night, Dundee’s Christmas tree of 1957 looked a little sparse by day.
City Square may have lacked festivities and lights, but it certainly wasn’t lacking in parked cars.
This magical photo of a couple strolling arm in arm under twinkling festoon lighting in Dundee’s City Square looks like a scene from a festive film.
The giant Christmas tree towers over Caird Hall which bears a festive banner of seasonal goodwill for Christmas 1960.
There weren’t many people about on December 27 in 1963, the festive rush of shoppers long gone.
But still the pretty Christmas lights were gleaming over the empty, but illuminated shops Murraygate below.
Dundee’s Woolworths store can be seen on the right-hand side which was a mainstay of the shopping area from 1924 to 1984.
Another view looking along a bustling Murraygate at Christmastime – this time taken from the High Street at the top of Castle Street.
The beautiful illuminations strung up between the buildings made for a sparkling streetscape in December 1965.
A small crowd of people and pooches gathered to watch the Christmas tree light switch-on at Lochee on December 14 1979.
There was a short religious ceremony followed by youngsters singing carols and festive music from the Salvation Army.
There would have been no missing this bus which was decked out like a Christmas tree for the festive season in 1979.
With row upon row of lights, the Dundee Corporation Routemaster was destined for Albert Square and no doubt brought lots of festive cheer along the way.
A huge crowd turned out to see the switching on of the Christmas tree lights in the City Square on December 6 1984.
The tiny figures below are dwarved by the lofty tree in front of the Caird Hall as it was illuminated from the City Chambers’ balcony.
That year Dundonians enjoyed an extra sprinkling of festive magic with Dundee Rep’s first pantomime since 1976.
The drama company performed Jack in the Beanstalk to rave reviews – the cast brought the house down on the opening night, and local youngsters were so engrossed that some were clambering onto the stage to get closer to the fun.
The pavements were packed with Dundonians doing their last-minute Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve 1986.
Shoppers on High Street thronged underneath the Christmas decorations and festoon lighting.
It was an exciting year for residents in the Whitfield area of Dundee as they celebrated having their first-ever community Christmas tree and switch-on ceremony.
Councillor Helen Wright had the honour of pressing the button to light up the tree.
Santa Claus and his horse-drawn sleigh paid a special visit to these youngsters in the City Square in December 1988.
The civic decorations and lights were even more spectacular that year thanks to a £3000 cash boost donated by Alan Craig on behalf of the city traders.
A switch-on ceremony on December 8 saw Dundonians join together for a short religious ceremony followed by a pipe band performance, music from Craigie High School Band and then a carol service.
The big switch-on was conducted by ‘Beauty and Billy the Dog’ from the pantomime Beauty and the Beast.
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