One thing or a mother: It’s time for the C word
It’s usually the time of year when you might be able to start saying the C word without everyone shouting ‘noooo, it’s too early’ in your general direction.
With Hallowe’en done and dusted, and the baby-wakers – I mean fireworks – finished for another year, November is when I normally like to get Mariah and The Pogues on repeat and start bulk-buying Quality Street for the next big celebration for most people in this country – Christmas.
But, this year, Covid-19 happened (grrrrrrr...) and on Saturday, we learned we were going back into lockdown for at least four weeks.
Christmas shopping, festive markets, pantomimes, Santa’s grotto, work Christmas parties, gatherings with friends and family are some of the staples of the end-of-the-year calendar which now either can’t happen or will be very much pared down.
Most of us love this time of year – how could you not when you’re literally instructed to ‘eat, drink and be merry’? “Another Baileys, Katherine?”
“Yes, please. It would be rude not to, as the season itself wants me to have a drink!”
But with the threat of Covid hanging over our heads, it might be kind of hard to find the Christmas spirit. So, this is my plan...
We can’t make the virus magically go away in time for Father Christmas’s arrival next month (although we can and should slow it down by staying in as much as possible – which won’t be hard if it keeps raining as much as it has been), so we need to do the things we can do with gusto.
1) Christmas decorations. They’re still a ‘go’. Have you ever seen the film Deck the Halls, where Danny Devito’s character puts so many lights on the outside of his house that they can be seen from space? Yep, that’s the level of outside Christmas cheer I think we should be aiming for. Think ‘more is more’. My children love going for a walk to look at all the Christmas lights – it’s a great distraction from them arguing and making me watch CBeebies continuously at home – so I’m hoping our towns and villages will look more sparkly than ever this year.
2) Eating. As previously mentioned, it’s actually one of the laws of Christmas that you consume as much festive food as you can over the holiday season. Can’t have anybody over to your house this year? No problem, you’ll just have to eat the entire cheeseboard yourself. Didn’t fancy sharing your Cadbury’s Roses? That’s okay, now you can’t!
3) Drinking. Obviously I don’t advocate drinking too much, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd glass of mulled wine. Oh, and Aperol spritz, because that’s good at any time of year. And gin, because, well, ditto.
4) Shopping. Okay, so we can’t get out into our town centres immediately, but maybe we’ll be able to in December. And if we can, we need to support all our local businesses and the lovely people that work in them. I don’t know how I would cope without being able to do a Supermarket Sweep-style run on Toy Barnhaus. Until then, look out for what our local stores sell online.
5) Socialising. I know, I know, we can’t do that in person. But nobody said we can’t go back to the good old (i.e., early-2020) days of Zoom calls aplenty. I can’t wait to start looking like an idiot again when the computer freezes on me laughing like a maniac. And there’s something to be said for not having to spend ages getting ready or having to go out in the cold.
We don’t yet know what Christmas will look like this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t throw as much glitter as possible at the bits we can do. Because I think we need the C word more than ever.