It's now December which means the festive season and the countdown to Christmas Day is upon us.

While the shops are now filled with the sound of Christmas songs and the Christmas light switch-ons are well under way, it is important to not forget the true meaning of the day itself.

There are lots of carol services and concerts taking place in the Chester area so we've put together a guide of what's on and when for you to get into the Christmas spirit.

The Parish Church of St. Laurence, Frodsham

Festival of Britten

Saturday, December 3 at 7.30pm.

Frodsham & District Choral Society present the Festival of Britten which will include the much-loved ceremony of carols and 'Hymn to the Virgin'.

Learn about Saint Nicolas as set to music by Benjamin Britten including the birth, childhood and career of Nicolas, involving some highly dramatic miracles.

Tickets are £10 which can be purchased from Morag Bragger on 07845 730061 or June Ross on 01928 890736.

All Saints' Church, Hoole Road, Chester

Dickensian Christmas Carol Concert

Saturday, December 3 between 2pm and 4pm.

Vision Support have organised a Christmas carol concert to celebrate their 140th anniversary year.

The festive celebration will feature a mixture of traditional and modern carols and performances from The Chords and The Northop Silver Band.

Tickets are £10 for adults while children under 12 are admitted free of charge.

There will be mince pies and refreshments.

A Christmas Concert

Saturday, December 3 at 7.30pm

The City of Chester Male Voice Choir present their Christmas concert with special guests Overleigh St. Mary's School Choir.

Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for under 18s and full time students.

Under 5s can attend free of charge.

Available from 01244 349931 or on the door.

Arley Hall

Candlelight and Carols Evenings

Monday, December 5 and Wednesday, December 7 between 6pm and 9pm.

See the floral displays in the candle-lit hall and listen to the choir sing as you meander around each room.

The choir also moves around the hall singing in different rooms.

The Bridgewater Choir will be singing on Monday, December 5 and the Serenade Singers (who have sung at Arley at Christmas for the last 13 years) will be singing on Wednesday, December 7.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be available and the gift shop will be open.

Admission is £9 if booked in advance or £10 on the night.

To book tickets contact Sue on 01565 777 353 or online.

Chester Cathedral

Christmas Carol Concert

Tuesday, Monday 6 at 7.30pm.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Constabulary and North West Ambulance Service are coming together once again for their annual Joint Emergency Services Christmas Carol Concert.

In addition to the usual mix of Christmas carols and readings, there will be performances from Cheshire Fire Choir, Cheshire Constabulary Band, Whitegate Primary School and Social Lites - Cheshire Federation WI Choir.

This is a free event.

Chester Cathedral Choir Carol Concert - A Choral Christmas at Chester Cathedral

Saturday, December 10 and Saturday, December 17 at 7.30pm

Experience a Chester Christmas at the cathedral's most popular concert of the year.

An evening of seasonal readings, Christmas music and carols for all to sing.

Featuring Chester Cathedral Choir and Nicholas Fry.

Tickets are £17.50 or £10.00 for adults and £5.00 for children.

Will Young presents the Soi Dog Foundation Carol Concert

Pop Idol winner Will Young will be hosting a concert at Chester Cathedral this Christmas on December 14

Wednesday, December 14 at 7.30pm.

Soi Dog UK Ambassador Will Young and guests invite you to a charity Christmas carol concert.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to the charity and will be used to end the suffering of dogs and cats in Asia and fight the illegal dog meat trade.

A small number of tickets have been released due to popular demand for the South Transept. These tickets will provide a side view of the stage with a large screen relay.

Book online.

Carols for the city: singing for Syrians with Chester Cathedral Nave Choir for Christian Aid

Sunday, December 18 at 7.30pm

Christmas Crackers

Monday, December 19 at 7.30pm and Tuesday, December 20

Chester Music Society Choir's annual celebration of Christmas in words and music with guest reader Ian McMillan and Chester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Celebrate a family Christmas with carols and seasonal music and enjoy the humour of The Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, who is returning for a second visit to Chester following his success with the Music Society in 2014.

Tickets are range from £8 to £16 and can be bought in advance online from the Chester Cathedral Ticket Desk at www.chestercathedral.com or ring 01244 500959. An online £1 booking fee applies.

Tickets are also available on the door on concert day.

Eaton Lodge, Hoole Road, Chester

Generations come together in Chester for Carols at Christmas

Thursday, December 15 at 1.30pm

Churchill Retirement Living is inviting the people of Chester to join its owners, their friends and family and local school children to enjoy a carol concert at its Eaton Lodge development on Hoole Road.

Pupils from St Martin's Academy will perform a special carol service.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy mince pies and sherry whilst listening to the pupils sing with plenty of opportunities to join in with the carols too.

St Mary's Church, Handbridge

Carols by Candlelight

Saturday, December 17 at 7.30pm.

Chester Bach Singers joined by Movers n' Shakers, the choir of the NeuroTherapy Centre, will once again provide carols for all to sing.

Collection will be in aid of Alzheimer's Society and Singing for the Brain.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £5 for students and under 18's.

This includes seasonal refreshments.

Carriage Shed

Carols at Carriage Shed

Sunday, December 18 at 7.30pm

Wrap up warm and join Vineyard 53 for Carols at Carriage Shed in the beautiful Carriage Shed by Chester train station.

Carols at Carriage Shed will be a magical evening of carols, reading and Christmas fun with a full live band, 20-piece choir, drama and creative multimedia.

It's the first ever event of its kind at Carriage Shed.

Enjoy free hot drinks and snacks from 7pm.

Entry is free.

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Parkgate Road, Chester

Candlelit Carol Service

Saturday, December 24 at 6.30pm

The annual festival of readings and carols by candlelight