Why I've lost my festive sparkle over Government's mixed Covid-19 messages - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

Preparations are already underway as families look to get into the festive spirit. Pic: AdobeStockPreparations are already underway as families look to get into the festive spirit. Pic: AdobeStock
Preparations are already underway as families look to get into the festive spirit. Pic: AdobeStock
Anybody who knows me knows just how much I love Christmas - it is without a doubt my favourite time of year.

As soon as the calendar turns over to December I will without fail have Mariah Carey and Wham blurring on the radio and enough festive jumpers at the ready to wear one a day for the entire month.

The festive films are usually lined up ready for a weekend of indulgence.

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I’d even put my Christmas tree up at the earliest opportunity if I could persuade my other half to get the decorations out of the attic sooner rather than later.

For me it’s not just about Christmas Day itself when I feel so blessed to be surrounded by my fabulous family enjoying each other’s company.

The build up to the big day is equally as important - the smell of mulled wine at the chilly Christmas markets, venturing out shopping and getting my sparkly dress out for the many festive gatherings.

But this year I fear that I have lost my usual festive sparkle.

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I was dismayed to find myself actively avoiding any Christmas songs that came on the radio while driving in my car last week.

My mum sent me a photograph of her Christmas tree at the weekend and I can’t even bring myself to even think about getting the decorations out of the attic yet.

And I can’t help but dare to let myself believe that this Christmas will run without a single hiccup after the disappointment we were all left with last year.

Last week Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden told us all to keep clam and carry on with Christmas as new measures introduced to stop the spread of the virus, following the emergence of the Omicron variant.

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The sentiment was echoed by the Prime Minister who urged the public to “continue as they are”.

His pleas came after Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, told people to avoid socialising and shortly after the Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the exact opposite.

Meanwhile ministers have also clashed over kissing under the mistletoe and Christmas parties.

Senior Tories have looked to encourage the public to hold firm to their pre-Christmas plans - despite departments scaling back their celebrations - with the hospitality industry warning it had suffered a “slew of cancellations” after Omicron sparked fresh safety fears.

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And it comes as the Metropolitan Police have said they are considering complaints from Labour MPs that Boris Johnson and his No 10 staff held Christmas parties in breach of Covid regulations last year.

Despite the mixed messaging party game one thing is clear and that is we need clarity on how to keep as safe as we can as we go about our lives.

That clear, vital information is crucial so that we can make our own informed decisions.

And armed with this I’m hoping that I can finally take a leaf out of Buddy the elf’s book and spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear - without having to turn off Mariah from my radio.

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