Midland-based bands Slade and Wizzard have made it into the list of Top 20 UK Christmas songs, as both hits celebrate their 40th birthday.
With Birmingham the fastest growing visitor destination according to one travel agent, we look at what might be drawing people to the city.
Market traders have been putting their finishing touches to their stalls ahead of the opening of Birmingham's German Christmas market.
Expedia’s Greatest Growth Destinations
- 1. Birmingham, England, 118%
- 2. Sydney, NSW, Australia, 93%
- 3. Canary Islands, Spain, 91%
- 4. Phuket, Thailand, 87%
- 5. Dublin, Ireland, 84%
- 6. Glasgow, Scotland, 82%
- 7. Amsterdam, Netherlands, 75%
- 8. Brussels, Belgium, 75%
- 9. Manchester, England, 67%
- 10. Bruges, 59%
– Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia.co.uk
The Christmas and New Year period is always an extremely popular time for travel and this year will certainly be no exception with people making the most of their extended break.
It appears that Birmingham’s German market and great shopping options in the city are quickly becoming central attractions in the annual Christmas calendar.
An online travel agent has revealed Birmingham is the fastest growing Christmas and New Year's Eve destination for 2013-14.
The figures from Expedia.co.uk follow recent statistics from the UK’s hotel booking service LateRooms.com, which showed a 24% increase in bookings to Birmingham’s hotels over the past four months.
The figures come on the back of the city being promoted by international publications including New York Magazine and China Daily.
Birmingham is the fastest growing Christmas and New Year's Eve destination for 2013-14, according to new figures released by Expedia.co.uk.
The online travel agent has seen bookings to the city increase by 118% for the festive period.
West Midlands Police have posted an interview with the mother of a drink drive victim as they begin their campaign offering £200 to anyone who reports a drink driver over the Christmas period.
As West Midlands Police and the Central Motorway Police Group launch a new drink drive campaign, rewarding people £200 for reporting drink drivers, officers are urging people to think before they - or members of their group - consume alcohol.
– Inspector Greg Jennings, West Midlands Police
Every year it is the same story - people seem to think that it is acceptable to have a few with their family or friends and then get behind the wheel.
In some cases they would not dream of drink driving, or taking drugs, at other times of the year but they lose their common sense as Christmas draws near.
So now, via the charity Crimestoppers, we are asking anyone who is aware of people breaking the law to pick up the phone and report selfish individuals who think it’s okay to drink or take drugs and drive.
Festive revellers across the Midlands are being offered cash rewards of up to £200 in return for reporting drink and drug drivers this Christmas.
West Midlands Police and the Central Motorway Police Group have launched the drink drive campaign.
A new documentary-film by Oscar winning director Kevin MacDonald, is released on YouTube today, starring a family from Barrow-upon-Soar in Leicestershire.
The film, called 'Christmas In A Day', premiered at a BAFTA event in London last night and stars the Smith family as they celebrate Christmas last year.
The family enjoyed the full red-carpet experience with MacDonald, famous for films 'Touching The Void' and 'The Last King of Scotland', who crafted the film from over 360 hours of footage.
Homeless charity Shelter says it is bracing itself for an alarming rise in the number of Midlanders needing help finding somewhere to live this Christmas.
Last year, almost 1,000 people from the West Midlands and more than 600 in the East Midlands called the helpline.
– Liz Clare, Shelter helpline adviser
The threat of homelessness is devastating at any time of year, but it seems to get worse around Christmas as the strains of the holidays close in and the weather gets cold.
Nottingham's Old Market Square will be lit up and transformed with twinkling lights, trees and snow for the official Christmas 'switch on'.
Entertainment begins from 5:30pm later today with the lights being turned on at 6:20pm.
Councillor Cat Arnold, Executive Assistant for Leisure and Culture, said: “Seeing Nottingham City Centre transformed by the Light Switch On is always a memorable and magical moment in the annual event calendar."
“In the Spirit of Christmas this year our lights will be switched on by inspiring teenagers from the Nottingham Children’s Hospital who are involved today despite battling their illnesses.”