Edi­tor’s let­ter

Surrey Life - - Front Page -

It’s fi­nally De­cem­ber, which means the count­down to the big day has re­ally be­gun. But what sig­ni­fies Christ­mas to you? Is it the first time a mince pie crum­bles in your mouth or you hear a fes­tive jin­gle on the ra­dio? Per­haps it’s open­ing the first door of an ad­vent cal­en­dar or, in these mod­ern times, the mo­ment the John Lewis ad­vert is un­veiled on tele­vi­sion? What­ever it may be, as each year passes, it seems these mo­ments come ear­lier and ear­lier.

For those of us who work in the mag­a­zine world, we’re all too fa­mil­iar with the idea of Christ­mas com­ing early; print sched­ules mean we are usu­ally think­ing about the fes­tive sea­son in July. It’s some­thing that I’m not sure I will ever com­pletely get used to. I’m gen­er­ally metic­u­lously or­gan­ised so it’s not so much the plan­ning ahead that gets the bet­ter of me but the pe­cu­liar­ity of writ­ing about Fa­ther Christ­mas and wrap­ping up for win­ter walks when it’s still 20-odd de­grees Cel­sius out­side. In­deed, back at the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber, when a col­lec­tive of tal­ented Sur­rey cre­atives and I de­scended on Wil­lards Barn in Dunsfold for our fes­tive photo shoot, it was one of the hottest days of the year. I imag­ine that must be what Christ­mas is like if you live in Aus­tralia.

Joys of Christ­mas When it comes to the ‘joys of Christ­mas’, peo­ple gen­er­ally fall into two camps; you ei­ther love it or hate it. I am very much in the for­mer camp – I still squeal with de­light each time I hear The Pogues’ Fairy­tale of New York (what­ever time of year it might be) and feel a lit­tle tin­gle in my belly the first time I see the Coca Cola ‘Hol­i­days are Com­ing’ ad­vert.

How­ever, work sched­ules do mean that by the time De­cem­ber comes around, I’m of­ten a lit­tle fed up with ev­ery­thing else. So, while I know the usual fes­tive tra­di­tions have their place, I’m con­tin­u­ally on the look out for al­ter­na­tive ways to keep this time of year fresh and ex­cit­ing.

This year, not only did I man­age to get a few in­spi­ra­tional ideas from the afore­men­tioned group of cre­atives (turn to page 51 where they give some tips on how to add that per­sonal touch to your hol­i­day sea­son), I also got some al­ter­na­tive fes­tive party menu op­tions from the ex­perts at Beaver­brook’s School of Cook­ery – you’ll find the recipes on page 116. Of course we’ve got plenty of the usual stuff in store for you too; you can dis­cover all the best places in Sur­rey to re­ally get into the Christ­mas spirit on page 33 and, if you’re look­ing for some gift in­spi­ra­tion, then turn to page 107 for some great ideas you can pick up lo­cally.

I’m ex­tra ex­cited for the fes­tive sea­son this year as I have a new nephew to spoil so I’m sure my Christ­mas will end up be­ing as tra­di­tional (and ex­pen­sive) as ever! Sea­son’s greet­ings to you all!

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