AS CHRISTMAS trees spring up and advent calendar doors swing open, we wrap up some of the most festive events taking place in Oxfordshire this December.

From Helen & Douglas House hospice's iconic Santa run to a host of Christmas fairs, there is plenty going on across the county as the countdown to the 25th begins.

Here is our pick of five celebrations to consider attending this year:

Oxford Santa run - December 9 

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Helen & Douglas House hospice hopes to welcome thousands of runners and walkers to Oxford for its annual fun run.

Last year the event was cancelled last-minute on safety grounds, after heavy snow settled on the 3.5km course.

Santas on the Run is one of the children's hospice's biggest fundraisers, and this year will feature brass band performances and a Christmas market.

  • Tomorrow, December 2, will also see unrelated Santa runs take place in Wallingford and Banbury, raising money for disability support charity Style Acre and Katharine House Hospice respectively

Lights of Love ceremony - December 8 

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Sobell House Hospice in Headington will host its annual Lights of Love ceremony outside its building on the Churchill Hospital site.

The event offers families the chance to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost, and to remember the special times spent together.

There will be carol singing, speeches and the lighting of a huge Christmas tree, adorned with special messages dedicated to a friend or family member.

For more details see here.

Broad Street Christmas market - from December 7

Banbury Cake: Oxford's Christmas Market opens on Broad Street..7.12.2017.Picture by Ed Nix...

Oxford city centre's Christmas market will return for a longer period than ever.

It will run in Broad Street for 16 days from December 7 until December 22, whereas last year’s only ran for 11 days.

There will be 60 stalls and traders are expected to include Crazy Crepes selling Belgian waffles, Colombia Coffee Roasters and The Fairy Light Company.

Christmas tree festivals - from December 7

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St Edburg's tree festival 

There are several Christmas tree festivals taking place in the county this year.

St Andrew's Church in Hagbourne, near Didcot, will host a festival between December 8 and December 18, featuring 30 trees decorated by local businesses, clubs and community groups.

All proceeds go to the church and Be Free YC, a charity for young carers, and visitors are welcome to enjoy the trees for free entry and vote for their favourite.

St Edburg’s Church in Bicester will also run a Christmas tree festival, from December 7 until December 9.

Members of the public are invited, for a small entrance donation, to wander through the forest of 80 decorated trees.

Christmas light switch-ons

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Abingdon's display also features fireworks

While Oxford's Christmas lights are already sparkling at night, many other locations are yet to switch on their displays.

Abingdon and Bicester both have their switch-on ceremonies tonight, December 1, each pressing the button at 6pm. 

Wallingford's Christmas tree lights will be turned on in Market Place at 4.30pm tomorrow, December 2, as part of an entire day of entertainment - including a fireworks grand finale at 5pm.

Celebrations in Wantage take place on December 7, with the return of the town's traditional Wantage Dickensian Evening in Market Square.

For a more comprehensive calendar of events in Oxfordshire this month, visit our events listings page.