It feels very much as though lockdown has caused Christmas to come early in certain households. I noticed a great many households rigging up their festive lights before the 1 December watershed this year. And given what everyone’s had to contend with, why not? After a year of isolation and distancing from family and friends, the twinkling cheer of Christmas is good to see.
I am spending every free moment – and there are few of those – signing and distributing my Christmas cards. This year’s winner of the annual Christmas Card Competition is Neave from St Joseph The Worker Primary School with a fabulous picture entitled “Santa in a Mask for Christmas 2020 at Brentwood Cathedral”. It’s a fun and colourful drawing, with beautiful attention to the architectural detail of the Cathedral, and a great reflection of how this year’s pandemic has influenced children.
I have had, once again, hundreds of entries to the competition and send thanks to all who entered. The choice of runners up was hard to make but you can see from the pictures on the card, and published on my website, that competition was stiff. Louise from Larchwood Primary School drew a fabulous picture of a London bus, full of elves and gifts and driven by Father Christmas , flying past Elizabeth Tower and the Millennium Wheel. Eden, from Moreton Primary School, provided a more rural picture of a brightly coloured pheasant atop an illuminated manuscript style Merry Christmas. From the Ursuline Prep, Charlotte and Zahra drew a really wonderful skater and a snowman outside No 10 Downing Street respectively.
There’s been good news from the Ursuline Preparatory School as well this week, as they have ben names ‘Independent Preparatory School of the Year’ by the Sunday Times. Headteacher Mrs Pauline Wilson should be rightly proud of this accolade which recognised that with just 160 children on the school roll, it “truly shows that small can be beautiful.”
By the time you read this we will be out of the national lockdown and into Tier 2 High Alert status across Essex, just in time for all shops to open and bring out their wares for Small Business Saturday. If ever there was a year to don a mask and browse our High Street shops – both independent and national chains – for Christmas presents, this is it.