We all need twinkling lights to cheer up the gloom at this time of year – it’s never too early to embrace the Christmas magic
IT is only mid-November and already it has begun. A perennial whining so predicable you can almost set your watch by it.
I’m talking about those who believe they have the right to police the thoughts and behaviour of others. Specifically, when it comes to the question: it is too early to embrace Christmas?
Such individuals have a peculiar delusion – bordering on mind-blowing arrogance – that they are somehow superior to those who simply want to stave off the bleak misery of it being pitch black at 4pm by stringing up a few twinkling fairy lights.
“Not until December 1,” they bleat. “No festive songs, films, decorations or joy in your heart before then.” Ah, behold the yuletide moaners. What’s the collective noun for that? A groan? A grumble? A sour? Maybe like The Grinch their hearts are simply two sizes too small.
I get that the festive season isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But then neither is the abomination that is the new Pokemon film and you don’t hear me banging on about it every two minutes. Social media is brimming over with vitriolic posts about when it’s acceptable to start listening to Christmas music, get the decorations down from the loft or hit the shops in search of gifts. The usual kicker is the claim that every time one of these activities happens during November, an elf dies. Which is nonsense because everyone knows elves are immortal – and love Christmas more than anything. Duh. Helping Santa is their entire purpose, after all. A 1989 study published in the Journal Of Environmental Psychology suggested those who decorate earlier for Christmas are happier than those who don’t. To be fair, you don’t need an almost 30-year-old research paper to tell you that.
In a world filled with stress and anxiety and sorrow, people crave comfort. It really is that simple.
I know families who have celebrated Christmas in advance because they have a loved one in the armed forces who will be away on duty when December 25 rolls around. Ditto those with a terminal illness whose prognosis means they may not be here to celebrate.
There are those cloaked in grief who seek a brief respite to the ever-present ache that reaches to the very bones of their soul. Putting up Christmas decorations might be their way to reconnect with memories of the good times shared with friends or family who have since passed away.
But what price are treasured moments compared to the yuletide moaners being able to claim some oddly perceived moral high ground?
Not everyone likes Christmas. I get that. Some decry the rampant commercialisation, others a loss of meaning within an increasingly secular society, or simply don’t enjoy this time of year for myriad other reasons – those are all valid points.
Do you know what else is valid? Those who want to get a jumpstart on those warm and fuzzy festive feels. Go forth and deck the halls with boughs of holly.
All aboard, next stop Outrageville
HEY, you there on Twitter? Yeah, you! The one getting all bent out of shape about GQ magazine using “Woman” in quotation marks for its Serena Williams cover.
Sadly, in your haste to jump on the first express train to Outrageville, you’ve missed the point entirely. The words were handwritten by Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director and founder of Milanbased label Off-White, who has styled everything in quotation marks recently.
Such as The “Queen” Collection designed by Abloh in collaboration with Williams with its now iconic one-shouldered, ballet tutu-style dress worn by the 23-time Grand Slam champion at the US Open (it had the words “Logo” above the Nike swoosh).
You know, the one Williams donned in what was effectively two fingers up to the organisers of the French Open after they implemented a new dress code that would see the all-black catsuit she wore this summer banned from future tournaments?
Hope this helps. Wait, was that a one-way ticket to Outrageville? Never mind. Something else will come along to get you foaming at the mouth before you know it. Hang on in there.
MUCH like a stopped clock that tells the right time twice a day, every so often I find myself having a hot fashion moment. Already this year I have been at the forefront of the yellow raincoat trend. Well, yet again, here I am ahead of the curve. This time: the fleece.
Hang on, I hear you cry. Do you mean shapeless garment worn for dog walking, gardening, scaling Munros and watching telly in the winter when frugality calls for just one bar on the electric fire?
The very same. Supermodels Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have been spotted stepping out in fleeces of late. Fashion label Balenciaga is hawking a blue-patterned fleece that looks like it fell through the space-time vortex from 1982. A snip at just £1,135.
It may – or more likely not – surprise you to learn that I already have a sizeable fleece collection. I feel like one of those fashionistas who throw open their cavernous walk-in wardrobes to reveal shelves of carefully curated Birkin bags. Except in my case it is an ode to the humble fleece. Regard this little black number, bought in the end of season sale at Whistler-Blackcomb circa 2003. It has a half-zip and baggy snowboarder fit that adds to the overall louche vibe and is perfect for lazy mornings enjoying a Homes Under The Hammer marathon. Or perhaps you will like this powder blue delight with drawstring fastening? Look how it cinches in at the waist. I practically have an hourglass figure.
Not to forget the jewel in the crown: a fluffy chocolate brown masterpiece resembling the fur of an Ewok that even has detachable arms. Voila, gilet! Smattering of dog hair optional.
Christmas comes but once a year, but that does not stop some people trying to stop other others putting up their holly and decorations perhaps a bit too early