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The magic of Christmas has begun - enjoy it while it’s here

PUBLISHED: 08:42 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:42 29 November 2018

St Peter Mancroft church in Norwich, that has been transformed with the addition of over thirty Christmas Trees. Evie Randleson attaching one of the decorations she made to the tree.Photo : Steve Adams

St Peter Mancroft church in Norwich, that has been transformed with the addition of over thirty Christmas Trees. Evie Randleson attaching one of the decorations she made to the tree.Photo : Steve Adams

Steve Adams 2018 : 07398 238853

It seems that as soon as Remembrance Day is over, the great countdown to Christmas begins.

We pass from Black Friday into Cyber Monday with offers galore on products, and people turning into something verging on ‘wild’ as they compete to grab the biggest bargain.

While I personally do not wish to buy Christmas cards in the summer months (yes, they were on display in some shops) nor Easter eggs in February (again yes, it will happen!) I find it wonderful to see the city come to life at this time of year amid a blaze of lights and glitter.

The fantastic shop window displays, the buzz in the air as the hustle and bustle of shoppers go in search of gifts and the anticipation of things to come, the carol concerts, festive market stalls, church services and the pantomime are all there to be enjoyed.

Even the hype and anticipation of the release of the John Lewis advert becomes a part of the season now, but although I adore Elton John, this year’s advert did not tug at my heartstrings quite so much as the Snowman, The Long Wait and the Man on the Moon ones from previous years.

I love the magic of the festive season, though I have to admit since our children (and grandchildren) have now grown up, the magic isn’t quite the same, but we do have some wonderful memories of when they were all young.

How they worried about how Santa was going to get down the chimney to bring their presents, when we lived in a flat, with no chimney. (However, thankfully, we did have a balcony for Santa’s ease of access.)

Ours were the best behaved children around, with warnings of ‘if you are not good children then Santa may not call here’ giving them not much choice to be otherwise.

Even my grandson, when he threatened to reveal the identity of Father Christmas to his younger brother, was told ‘ah well, if you don’t believe, you won’t receive’.

He hastily protested that he did believe, he truly did! (They are all fine now and not traumatised, I can assure you.)

One year, we spent ages setting up a doll’s house, complete with furniture and a family of Weebles. As we entered the bedroom, our four-year-old suddenly woke up. As my husband began to hastily retreat, all I could hear were the contents of the doll’s house, scattering noisily, in all directions.

I almost hurled myself onto the bed in order to hide this spectacle from our daughter’s eyes, singing loudly to cover up the noise of falling Weebles.

Another memory is the selfless act of having to eat yet another mince pie (so we could leave crumbs) and drink yet another glass of sherry that had been left out for Santa. (Oh I know I could have put it back in the tin or poured the sherry back into the bottle but that would not have been so authentic would it?)

For me, this year, the magic of the festive season began when I was walking through the Tunnel of Light towards the Forum.

Entering the tunnel from the opposite side came a young woman, pushing a tiny boy, in a buggy. He looked up and saw the thousands of lights, just as they turned bright red.

His little face beamed, his eyes widened in awe and amazement.

“WOW!” he exclaimed.

I heard his mother chuckle as I left the tunnel. I smiled to myself. The Spirit of Christmas had begun, just as it began centuries ago... With the sweet innocence of a child.

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