Norfolk

Talk of the county

Rowan says it’s time to celebrate

- rowan.mantell@archant.co.uk

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting too fat. Soon it will be the season of sparkly face masks and cinnamonsc­ented hand sanitiser. Some say Christmas has been cancelled, but I say this corona-Christmas could be where Norfolk shines.

Some also say November is too early to be talking about Christmas, whatever the year, but this is usually the month when festive frenzy climbs from a breezy pre-Bonfire Night and Remembranc­e Sunday, ‘What are we doing for Christmas this year?’ (clue, about the same as every year), to a gale-force, ‘Exactly what are we doing, with who, minute-by-minute, gift-by-gift, mouthful-by-mouthful and no, Father Christmas does not bring puppies.’

Unusually, for me, I started Christmas shopping in September. Having missed out on the great toilet paper panic-buying crisis of the spring I saw some festive loo roll and got so excited at the thought of Christmas being on its way, already tracking down from the frozen Arctic to a supermarke­t aisle near me, that I decided snowflake patterned toilet paper would be an essential part of celebratio­ns.

The turkey will, obviously, be a Norfolk black or bronze. There has been a lot of talk about how the rule of six will mean turkeys will have to be smaller but I’m hoping that maybe the large ones will still be needed by hotels and restaurant­s, and not have to be put on a pre-Christmas diet. The season is already unhappy enough for turkeys...

On a, literally, brighter note, my husband has suggested this could be the Christmas to light up our house like a, well, Christmas tree. While indoors is always thoroughly festooned, with almost no room in the inn for more after the tree is bought, the fairy lights are hung and my extensive and expanding collection of Nativity scenes is installed (nothing speaks of the real meaning of Christmas better than a collection of wooden/ceramic/metal/glass angels, kings, shepherds and oxen on every level surface) we do not exactly share the joy. My Christmas happens mainly inside, which is hardly in the spirit of the original day, or coronaviru­s times.

The holly tree in front of the house might get some silver baubles, and every year I try a solar-powered set of lights, and every year forget it would need a Christmas miracle to turn the few seconds of sunlight we get around the winter solstice into hours and hours of merry night time twinkling, glowing and flashing.

But I do enjoy evening walks looking at other peoples’ amazing light shows and decoration­s. With the advent of low energy led lighting it’s much greener (and all the other coloured lights of Christmas) than it used to be. Whether or not, (and it’s definitely a not) we get a flashing Santa and his sleigh on the roof, now is also the perfect time to work up how light up other peoples’ Christmase­s – it’s never too early for that kind of Christmas spirit.

‘Do different’ is our unofficial county motto there must be some ways a different Christmas could even be a better Christmas. I’ve just discovered ‘I serve’ is the official county motto, so maybe there’s a hint to myself. I can’t assume Santa will do it all this year – and can’t work out whether people, however legendary, are included in the rule of six if they arrive via a chimney.

 ??  ?? ABOVE:
Lighting up for Christmas
ABOVE: Lighting up for Christmas

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