Christmas and New Year Greetings by Barbara Nadel

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By the time you read this, provided you can be bothered to tear yourself away from the fire/beach/brandy, Christmas will be over and we will be looking forward to 2011.

Unlike the Scots, the English don’t really make a big deal out of New Years Eve. Some people do have parties, but generally only young people. As a friend of mine said recently, ‘What is the point of a party when you’re no longer that fussed about copping off with anyone?’ So true. At twenty I can still remember getting very exciting about New Year parties. I’d put on tons of make-up, dress like a sugar plum fairy (or a Soviet soldier, it depended on my mood) and wonder who I might meet.

Beyond forty things are different. It it’s a party involving old friends, you live in fear of that bloke who always used to get pissed and drop his trousers when you were at college together. New people are just scary in general and works ‘do’s’ plumb levels of embarrassment that take having your bum photocopied ten times as their starting point. So New Year, at it’s best, involves hanging around the fire in slippers and fleece blankets trying not to succumb to the temptation of making resolutions.

I prefer to think about New Year ‘hopes’ rather than resolutions. In 2011 I hope that our government finally sees sense and doesn’t cut all the services that make this country something approaching a welfare state. I hope that somehow, conflict in the Middle East ratchets down a peg or two (I would like to see lasting peace, but I have to be realistic). I hope we as a family can make a decent living and have a bit of fun and happiness in our lives and I hope that my son will be able to find a job. I hope that everyone either stays healthy or gets better and I hope against hope that 2011 will not stink in the way that 2010 did.

Fingers crossed, as we say here in the UK. Next time I blog it will be 2011 and then we’ll see. In the meantime I hope that everyone has a bit of a rest, a lot of nice hopes and, at least, the joy of a new pair of Christmas socks to enjoy!

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