Yes, folks, it’s that time of year when big money is lavished on those big-budget Yuletide TV ads with a social conscience – ads to make you smile, make you cry and make you think. I know it’s all about the relentless commercialisation of Christmas and a crude attempt by big business to convince us all that they’re the good guys really. But, if they’re well done and have a laser-sharp message then they can strike the perfect note and, hopefully, make a difference. Every little helps, as they say at Tesco. Here are my personal favourites from the UK, Germany and Spain.
With energy costs and inflation as they are, for many, going under is the new getting by. This year, Christmas will be particularly tough. Village people hereabouts know how it is and don’t just stand idly by. From free Christmas hampers to the recently opened Chet Valley Community Larder, help is on hand for those struggling to put food on the table. It really gladdens the soul. It’s all amazing but the larder is particularly innovative. Run by volunteers and supported by Loddon and Chedgrave Parish Councils, Chet Valley Churches and Loddon Co-Op, the larder is based at Loddon Library. People can pop along to give what they can and take what they need; no forms, no fuss and no questions asked.
Liam and I know how lucky we are.
Norwich’s Maddermarket Theatre has an eclectic offering coming up in the next few months judging by the ‘what’s on’ brochure that dropped on our mat. Patrons can select from a pick-and-mix diet of comedy, drag, drama, tribute acts and music old and new – whatever takes their fancy. And what took our fancy? Well this, obviously.
Who can resist a filthy title like that?
Usually, ‘Dick Whittington and His Cat’ is a traditional festive children’s pantomime based on the legendary tale of guttersnipe Richard Whittington who went from rags to riches to become the Lord Mayor of London in the fourteenth century. We’re expecting this X-rated interpretation to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘he’s behind you’!
…though round these parts he’s been known to do a dry run before the big night to check out the chimneys. Or maybe he’s been moonlighting for Amazon.
He even popped by the cottage but got stuck up the wrong hole. I think he’d been at the sherry.
I wonder if Santa’s little helpers take a photo of every delivery? It’s a sign of the times.
The tree’s up and dressed, the garland’s draped above the fire, the mulled wine’s gently simmering on the stove and the village is sparkling in pretty strings of twinkle. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
As usual, festive tunes dominate the wireless, so I’ll leave it to those strawberry blonds Ed Sheeran and the Rocket Man to sing in the season with their jolly Christmas duet. Here’s their cheap, cheeky and very British gig gently taking the piss out of Christmas videos past. How many can you spot? Hit it, boys…