Why I'm dreaming of an over-the-top Christmas

PUBLISHED: 07:17 12 December 2017

'Tis the season to go glitzy, says Richard Hughes.

'Tis the season to go glitzy, says Richard Hughes.


Bah humbug to those who say 'bah humbug' about Christmas, says Richard Hughes.

Christmas brings out the very best and the very worst in people.

There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground: you either embrace it all, wear the jumper, trim up on the first days of the 12th month, play the repetitive earworm tunes and offer goodwill to all or you turn to - or more likely stick with - the dark side, saying ‘bah humbug’ to happiness and becoming even more miserable than usual.

The very meanest sort of soul is the one who questions how other people spend their money, be it on advent calendars, presents for the kids or decorations for the office.

Worst of all, they’ll frown on the excitable folk who light up their lives with strings of twinkling bulbs in their windows, in their trees or on their roofs, herds of glittering reindeers, manically waving snowmen and the star of Bethlehem on their chimney.

Good for them I say. Enthusiasm is the most endearing of all human traits, and enthusiasts should be encouraged, whatever their passion.

Norfolk has definitely seen the light(s), in more ways than one, with the spectacular luminaire in King’s Lynn, Blicking Hall lit like a beacon, Holt - as ever - a shining example to everyone and Thursford’s car park looking like an enchanted forest.

Most of our market towns have also raised their game. More power to them I say, in fact, as much power as they need to light up their part of the world.

This year we doubled the budget on trees, lights and decorations at The Assembly House and it’s really had the desired effect, hopefully making a meaningful contribution to our city of lights this Christmas time.

However I still believe it’s far too understated. If I had my way I’d have gone for snow machines, real live polar bears, epic light shows and a ‘Santa Stop Here’ sign on the railings.

At home we’ve recently painted our front door pink (Farrow and Balls’ Nancy’s Blushes according to my wife) which has caused much consternation in NR2.

Wait until Christmas 2018 when our house is lit up like a Disney castle on Thanksgiving: just because I cook for a living, doesn’t mean I have good taste.

The world needs all the joy and escapism it can muster at the moment, so embrace it – if you’re tired of Christmas, you’re tired of life. On that note, see you on the other side – Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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