Christmas is upon us

Christmas is upon us
Abby Crawford

Well, I have to say, I’m just a little bit excited for Christmas. Or the “Festive Season”, as I have said, to be politically correct when writing for my corporate clients. 

To be fair, I’ve always been a lover of this time of year … even the early Christmas carols in the supermarket don’t bug me too much. But this year feels intoxicatingly exciting.

Retail stores are brimming with vibrant, glamourous clothes, sequins seem to have made a strong comeback and there’s a heel and handbag to match every colour you can imagine. Tantalising seafood suggestions are leaping from the pages of magazines and champagne has never been more heavily marketed, eager to be the chosen bubbles for the season. It seems only sensible to be trying a few before making such a commitment! 

And some of the most bah humbug of folk I know are eagerly reviewing invitations to the multitude of gatherings on offer from friends, family and work. Tickets to wreath-making workshops (although it could be because of the glass of bubbly that you have with it), member events and community activities are selling out in record time. There is a definite festive feel in the air.

I think of my adored grandma, who hosted the most impressive Christmas events. The tree was heaving with ornaments, glittering under the Christmas lights. The house was full of music, and champagne glasses would “clink” under the peals of laughter in the summer air. It was a joy for us all to return “home” to Granny’s for Christmas, all were welcome, all were loved, and all were very well fed. Sadly, she passed away this year from COVID and I can’t help but think that perhaps her love for celebrating in the most glorious way was due to those war years. It must have felt just so wonderful to have survived the war and to have her beloved Fred return.

 

And perhaps now we all have just a tiny glimpse of how that might feel. How it might feel to survive the harrowing war, and just want to kick up your heels and paint the town (and in my grandma’s case, her lips) red.

 

They valued the simplicity of having family and friends home, while never forgetting the huge cost of what they sacrificed in their supreme efforts to keep the world a better place. So, with the huge restrictions we survived last Christmas, and the isolation we were in, maybe it’s only sensible to let the joy of the festive season in.

This year I will be dancing by the lights of the Christmas tree with a champagne in hand, and Bing Crosby’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas playing knowing that my grandma will be in the arms of my papa up there doing the same. I am grateful that she taught us how to be stoic, and I am grateful she also taught us the joy of celebrating together. And I am grateful that this year, we can celebrate with those we love, we can hug without fear, we can squish as many people as we can at our dining tables and we can breathe a sigh of relief that while the hard times will never be over, it’s not as bad this year.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, may your hearts be full of joy, and may your party shoes match your sequins. 

With much love,

Abby x •

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