All that glit­ters…

Caro­line Quentin on why she’s thrilled that sparkles are back

Prima (UK) - - Contents -

Are you old enough to re­call a time when Christ­mas cards really cel­e­brated the fes­tive sea­son? Re­mem­ber those snowy scenes and coun­try cot­tages, their golden win­dows light­ing the gloom, thatched roofs un­der a thick blan­ket of the snow, robins, red-breasted and shiny eyed, and ev­ery bit of them smoth­ered in sil­ver glit­ter?

When I was a child, Christ­mas was to­tally sparkly, with tin­sel and lametta every­where. Fairy lights, candles, satin, rib­bon and sequins in abun­dance – back then, ’twas not only the sea­son to be jolly but ’twas also the sea­son to throw good taste to the north wind. It was all or noth­ing, and at our house, it was all! On Christ­mas Day, ev­ery wo­man (and some men) wore some­thing shiny. Sequins, lamé, Lurex, and vel­vet set off with a huge pair of dan­gly ear­rings. Since those gaudy days of ex­cess, a dis­gust­ing amount of good taste has crept in to Christ­mas. For some years now, we Brits have ex­hib­ited a pen­chant for Scandi chic, Nordic nuance and barely there baubles. Un­der­stated style has been the or­der of the day.

Hap­pily, though, this year, I’ve no­ticed Yule­tide aus­ter­ity is dis­ap­pear­ing. The som­bre mono­chrome is be­ing re­placed by some­thing cheerier. Glit­ter is back. My lo­cal su­per­mar­ket’s Christ­mas cards are su­per-sparkly. I no­tice, too, that Santa is mak­ing a re­turn. In re­cent years, jolly Saint Nick took a back seat, re­placed by pen­guins and po­lar bears. But he’s here again and I’m de­lighted to say he’s had a Strictly

makeover. I wouldn’t be sur­prised to see him sport­ing a be­daz­zled beard… The Vic­to­ri­ans knew a thing or two about this time of year. That fa­mous pic­ture of Queen Vic­to­ria and her fam­ily around the can­dlelit tree led to the na­tion em­brac­ing the pine. Charles Dick­ens, in his novel A Christ­mas Carol,

didn’t wax lyri­cal about min­i­mal­ist decor and spar­tan sup­pers. He knew that, at Christ­mas, less is not more… more is more! I think the Vic­to­ri­ans had the right idea.

So, this year, my Christ­mas is go­ing to be a bit more Vic­to­rian, all about fun and colour. The world is an in­creas­ingly bleak place – I’ll be mono­chrome and cool come Jan­uary but this fes­tive sea­son, I want bling. My tree is go­ing to be smoth­ered in lights, and when I switch on my il­lu­mi­na­tions, I want the na­tional grid to feel it. If, on Christ­mas Eve, your telly flick­ers and your lights dim for a mo­ment, it’s me blind­ing the kids and the cats, bid­ding farewell to aus­ter­ity for a few short weeks.

Happy Christ­mas, dear Prima read­ers. How­ever you de­cide to spend your hol­i­day sea­son, I wish you a happy and peace­ful time, full of love and laugh­ter and plenty of sparkle!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.