The fight for Christmas is a curious concept. The argument has gathered momentum in recent days. It says take a hard lockdown now, with the normal apparatus of life closed off for millions of people for weeks, then you can enjoy family time together on December 25. And then potentially another lockdown.
It doesn’t make sense.
The idea that Christmas is one day, an afternoon, of warm-hearted gluttony, sleep in front of the TV, a fraught moment with your extended family and arguments over a quiz doesn’t quite fly. For one thing, I haven’t mentioned the essential nature of Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special.
Christmas is now. This is Christmas. Christmas is all the lead up to the day. It’s the lights coming on in streets. It is shop assistants shaking their heads as Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody plays for the eighth time that day, helping Noddy Holder get another kitchen extension. (Though, that said, it’s a great song. There is joy in it).
It is being sent out to search for cloves (no, not that! WHOLE ONES!). It is comparing the Christmas ads of well-known brands to check the cultural barometer of how we live now. It’s, if we’re lucky, being out and among people. It’s restaurants packed with punters who may only drink once a year. It’s work-dos and lists and plans and a sense of anticipation. It’s the last-minute dash for the last-minute gift.