Bloody hell-fire it is Christmas again, wouldn’t you think after the events of 2020 and this being the two thousand and twentieth Christmas we would have had enough by now?
Why do so many people as the season draws near find themselves expecting it to be different from last year?
It has always been strange to me that so many people look forward -usually through heavily rose tinted glasses – to the winter holiday season forgetting (as many do) about the stress it puts them as they try to deliver their own and others expectations of the festive season.
Fortunately here in Ipplepen people aren’t put off at this time of year by complete strangers smiling and saying “Good Morning” as they pass you in the street because it is normal behaviour in our village throughout the rest of the year.
Of course the smiling will necessarily have to be imagined this year as people hide behind a variety of different types of face mask.
Some even imagining no doubt that they are superheroes.
I suppose it could realistically very well lead to a level of paranoia especially if you happen to be a stranger walking through the village and find yourself being spoken to by someone you have never met before (a very un-British thing to experience).
You may even start to ask yourself “Who are these people?- Smiling and talking in what doesn’t sound remotely like the Estuary English accent that is gradually spreading throughout England”.
“”And am I being lined up to be a true life version of the Ipplepen Wicker Man”?
If so which is the quickest route out of this place?
Of course the locals being grateful that they live in such a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else’s secrets don’t see any of this.
For the uninitiated Ipplepen is the kind of village where the rumour and gossip mill is so all encompassing and entrenched that any secret organisation such as the MI5, the Mafia or even the Freemasons would be envious.
The word secret simply doesn’t exist in Ipplepen.
Christmas is a special time when a great interest is taken into who has lit their houses up for the festive season – the Village Christmas tree is up and unlike last year it doesn’t – as a number of residents have pointed out – lean to the left.
The lights on the village Christmas tree twinkle and illuminate the War Memorial and Square giving an especially festive look to the century old rows of cottages and at the same time acting as a powerful antidote to what has now become an entrenched British cynicism and weariness with the world.
And who can blame them when it was this time last year that our esteemed Prime Minister promised we would be out of Europe with the greatest ever oven-ready deal signed by the end of this month.
Still plenty of time to go,
But back to Christmas and I dare say across the country people have been out (if they haven’t written to Father Christmas) buying the latest gadgets for their loved ones who’ll no doubt display them (and endlessly talk about them) as the newest and most recent of status symbols.
Fortunately in Ipplepen people aren’t that interested in the latest status symbols mainly I suspect because as a community steeped in a rural environment they prefer more practical things like a trench digging spade or car that they can put the dogs in without worrying about whether they’ll get the seats muddy.
Well this year it is going to be different thanks to Covid 19 with the usual annual village Christmas morning gathering at the Welly and/or Con Club (complete with the most god awful Xmas jumpers) expected to be seriously curtailed.
As has been the annual trip to watch a Christmas Film in the Village Hall
On the bright side and it is in some cases very bright it seems more residents have made an effort and taken the time to light up their homes and all kinds of vegetation.
In some cases it really is spectacular.
And of course the limitations that Covid 19 has caused to happen has caused an unexpected benefit because it has seriously reduced the number of mince pies everyone has had to devour.
Which given the amount of weight a number of people have put on during the initial lockdown may not be a bad thing.
What is it about this time of year that everyone you meet has a compulsion to offer you a mince pie?
Perhaps the overall impact this year may well be not ‘tis the season to be jolly’ but ‘tis the season to be frugal tra la la la, la la la la’
Anyway Christmas it is and then one week later goodbye 2020 and welcome 2021……
I strongly suspect this year and this Christmas will be talked about for a long, long, long – boringly-, long, long time.
Merry Christmas everyone.