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Please start Christmas later – and let it last longer

PUBLISHED: 11:35 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 02 January 2019

Christmas Procession at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul Hurst

Christmas Procession at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul Hurst

copyright (c) paul hurst all rights reserved

Happy ninth day of Christmas!

Christmas Procession at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul HurstChristmas Procession at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul Hurst

I trust you will all enjoy singing about those nine ladies dancing today, then tomorrow you’ll blast out a verse on the 10 lords a leaping and then move on to pipers piping (I’ll stop there).

Actually, I sense for many of you Christmas will actually be something of a distant memory.

Put your hand up if the decorations are already down and packed back in the loft? I reckon there are plenty of palms in the air.

To me the build up to the festivities started earlier than ever in 2018 – and continues a trend which has grown and grown in recent years,

Christmas Eve crib service at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul HurstChristmas Eve crib service at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: Paul Hurst

The cricket season was still going on and schools had hardly returned from the summer holidays when shop aisles started filling up with decorations, cards and gift ideas.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas. But I don’t want to start thinking about it in September, or October for that matter.

I’ve heard the argument that shops need to get cracking when the sun is still beating down or they will be beaten by their rivals – especially the online ones.

Restaurants will say they have to secure bookings before they are scooped by others.

A first Christmas event for Gorleston's Magdalen Square has been hailed a success Picture: Rev Matthew PriceA first Christmas event for Gorleston's Magdalen Square has been hailed a success Picture: Rev Matthew Price

We have a set amount of money to shell out, so there is fierce competition to secure our buck.

However, I’m not persuaded that the preparations need to begin anywhere near as early as they do – and the sad thing is that the long, long build up is creating festive fatigue far too early.

I really enjoy the period which has become known as Twixtmas or Crimbo Limbo – those few days between Christmas and the New Year.

As news never stops, I’ve been working a reasonable amount over the holiday period – but when I’ve been at home it’s been great to spend some quality time with family, playing lots of games, having some walks, watching the Canaries, enjoying those culinary delights we rightly preserve for the end of the year and not charging around.

The shops may have opened, but I’ve stayed away.

It saddens me when there’s a clamour to quickly end the celebrations and get back to normal.

There’s plenty of time in the 365 days of the year to “do normal”, so let’s cherish the period when we don’t know what day it is or when the bins will be collected or if there’ll be any post.

My wife’s birthday is tomorrow, and she always laments the “it’s all over” feeling when is eager to continue the party.

So my plea for a new year’s resolution for us all to appreciate the moment without rushing on to the next thing.

Easter eggs can wait. The enjoyable parts of the winter months can be enjoyed.

Summer can then arrive at the right time and give us all that warm glow before attention then turns again to the later months of the year,

Happy new year – and enjoy the last four days of Christmas!

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