It’s just one more thing that’s going to be very different this year!
Big family gatherings won’t be on the cards this year. No carol concerts, no school nativity - at least not in the way we know them. It’s going to be a very Covid Christmas.
For me, and probably anybody who’s used to working in hospitality, this year feels very strange! Right around now we’d usually be in the thick of the busiest, craziest time of the year. Christmas party nights, winter weddings and as much Turkey and Tinsel as you can possibly bear. You’re sick of hearing about what Mariah wants for Christmas, you’re fed up of the office parties and the jokes that are funny to the drunken bosses but not so much to the sober waitresses... and you’ve lost count of the drinks you’ve had spilled on you, the rogue baubles you’ve had to reattach to the tree and the number of times the chef has yelled at you to “take that bloody nut roast to table 32”... only less politely.
But, truth be told, I LOVE IT.
Seeing everyone happy in their little Santa hats is actually quite a lovely thing. Watching the disappointment on the faces as they open their crappy Secret Santa gifts as if they were ever expecting to get something they actually wanted?! And the little kisses under the mistletoe that bring out the best in even the biggest of Scrooges!
There’s a great sense of comradery in your team when you pull off a Christmas event. You’ve already resigned yourselves to the fact that for at least the next 6 weeks you’ll be working 15 hour shifts, getting home at 5am, sleeping in the day and relying on coffee and Wham’s Last Christmas to get you through. There is a real triumph in doing a seamless Christmas dinner. There is no relief quite like the one when you serve the 800th Turkey dinner of the night and you know it’s finally the last! Or when the very last person is bundled into their taxi and you can finally close the doors. I mean, granted, you’ll still be there for another 2 hours, cleaning up and resetting it all to come back and do it all over again tomorrow… but my favourite part of the shift always used to be once the customers had gone home and we could blast any music that didn’t have the jingling of bells in it; we’d unclip our ties, swipe off the linen and blitz the room so fast you’d think we were trying to get on the Nice List.
But not this year.
I am so sorry to those of you who won’t be getting your Christmas parties.
To those businesses and suppliers whose 2020s have been rotten enough without the thought of losing their festive trade too.
And for those of you who are feeling further away than ever from your friends and family this Christmas.
While some of us are maybe quite enjoying a little bit of a break this time around… there are others who are still up to their elbows in everything festive. And I think we need to give a little shoutout to those working hard - maybe extra hard this year - who are still making our Christmasses super special under the circumstances.
Our florists have been working overtime on Christmas bouquets and bundles, and not to mention the Christmas Wreaths that, I have to say, I think may be the best ever! They have seriously outdone themselves. As well as making wreaths to be sent out and hung directly on our front doors, they’ve also been boxing up some DIY kits and delivering workshops helping us to create our own! So much of it has had to take place online this year, but they’ve been absolutely nailing it - and somehow managing to look glamorous even when they’re freezing cold and up to their elbows in foliage?!
Music is a huge part of Christmas for most of us, whether we enjoy the cheesy Xmas number ones from the 80s and 90s or the traditional christmas carols that get us feeling warm, cosy and festive. It’s been especially tough on our musicians and artists this year, but there are still a couple of ways you can support them whilst getting in the spirit!
Perfect for wrapping those last minute prezzies, or sitting back with a little sherry in the evening!
The bakers have been excelling themselves as always - delicious Christmas cakes, Christmas pops, Christmas brownies, Christmas boxes, Christmas biscuits, Christmas puds… because let me tell you this, from me to you - Yeah, we all get a bit worried that we’ve been a bit unhealthy in 2020 and that at Christmas time we do tend to pile on the pounds. BUT WHO THE HECK CARES. Life is too short and, honestly, life without delicious tasty treats just ain’t a life worth living.
And then there are the entertainers doing virtual shows, the caterers offering festive hampers, the lovely little companies making our garlands, crackers, trees and gifts...
I’m sending so much love to all of our suppliers who have been working their socks off in the run up to Christmas. If you are stuck for any prezzies, have a look back at my last little blog post with some lovely small businesses you could support. Don’t forget you can get gift vouchers for little companies and many restaurants and cafes who REALLY need your help right now (and what a bloody lovely gift to give).
And whatever you do, I hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!