Ho, ho, ho, fellow reader!- Gregory Sidaway

Only yesterday Andy Williams was on the radio telling me how It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and every time I turn on the TV, DFS are trying to throw a reduced sofa at me – so it must be Christmas. For good now. There’s always this period just before the widely accepted festive season where things can get a bit jittery. I blame the adverts, if I’m honest, and I get why they like to start frisbee-ing out Christmas ads starting in mid-October. It’s good for business, right? But what this means is that November becomes fraught with danger. There’s a kind of factionalism that we all separate ourselves into.

The “Christmas-everyday” enthusiasts seize the day and decide they’ll put their decorations up on the 30th November, because why not? This can become an event. We might stop on our journey to our school / work / pilates class etc. to take note of the first person in our neighbourhood to have the guts to put their decorations up. To all the brave people out there who are the first in their neighbourhood to put an inflatable Santa in their garden, I salute you. Then there will be the staunch traditionalists, the ones who roll their eyes when a Christmas song plays in November. Instead, they might favour the “two weeks before, two weeks after” approach when it comes to putting up and taking down decorations. I’m going to be a bit boring and declare that I’m somewhere in between the two. If I’m not on either side of the court, then I suppose I’m tangled up in the net in the middle. But both sides will try to convert you, make no mistake. “Go on! Put on some Bublé! Stop being a Scrooge!” a rebellious Chrimbo-maniac might say. Or, on the other hand, a traditionalist might comment that: “It’s too commercialised these days” and purse their lips.

Whenever we remember that it’s November, we always have a habit of commenting on the month to follow. “Ooh, nearly December.” We may as well not have November. It just becomes an extension of Christmas, forgotten in favour of its two buddies, October and December. Oh well, I’m glad that’s all over and we’re comfortably into the festive period. Hopefully, it will be less restricted than it was last year – I’m writing this before any potential new rules have been laid out (fingers crossed, there won’t be any). It would be nice not to be submerged under seventeen blankets, wearing a bobble hat and unable to feel my toes on the Big Day; last year, our gardens became our living rooms, and while they were certainly airy, it would be nice to be inside with everyone again.

I feel like all effective articles end on something thoughtful, something poignant. This year – while not quite as chaotic as 2020 – hasn’t exactly passed on the smooth, good year test. But then maybe they never do, there are highs and lows in every day, let alone every year. Maybe that’s why we need times like now, one big epic positive to put a satisfying lid on a year and kickstart another. With that in mind, I really hope that everyone is safe and happy this season. Merry Christmas, fellow reader, make it a great one!