After months of them mismanaging the Covid-19 crisis we dared to give them one last chance, the chance to bring us a sense of normality in the darkest days of a year where everything else had been cancelled.
Leaders of the other nations gave them a chance too because, in a rare show of unity, the rules for the five days of Christmas bubbles were largely the same across the UK.
But, coming from a government where Education Secretary Gavin Williamson hadn’t noticed or thought about the possibility of issues with A-Level exams until after the results were published, Boris Johnson wants us to blame the ‘cancelling of Christmas’ on a mutated strain of the virus, which is prevalent in London and the South East, he says people have only been aware of for a couple of days.
I’m not talking about how his failing to show leadership by letting Dominic Cummings keep his job in the summer after breaking the rules led to countless others breaking the rules.
I’m talking about how while cases were rising the government should have said ‘if everyone can abide by the rules then there may be able to be a sense of a family Christmas’ – and not mentioned anything about a five day bubble until the science showed it was safe.
Neil Gilbride puts the point across best on Twitter:
Martin Robbins makes a very good point about the lateness of the u-turn:
And Richard Herring hits the nail on the head:
But now, as always, we have (fairly) new Tory MPs crowing about how great their leader is and how he is making difficult decisions.
I’m never sure if they believe it because it never sounds sincere.
I wasn’t going to believe a family Christmas was possible this year until I had been picked up by my dad just after noon on Christmas Eve and we were sitting in traffic on the M25.
This is why for weeks I’ve had “just in case it doesn’t happen” food in the freezer – including a spatchcock chicken, bolognese sauce and some mince pies (left over from a few weeks ago).
But I have been self-isolating in my flat since December 8th, and the only in person conversation (and it was a very brief one) I’ve had since then was with a stranger who told me I looked good running, and I was ready to take a Covid test before travelling to ensure I was as safe as possible.
(And now my mum’s suggestion from a few weeks’s ago of doing the self-isolation in a bedroom in their home “just in case the rules change before Christmas” is shown to have been the best one – always listen to your parents kids!)
I wanted to believe in the miracle of Christmas. I want to believe that one day we will be able to meet again.
But until then millions of people will be having a Christmas unlike any they ever expected to have.
There will be those who are struggling because a loved one died this year so they find themselves alone for the first time. My heart goes out to them.
There will be those who are alone because their housemates have left for the holidays and they have no way of going back to their families. My heart goes out to them.
Thankfully this year, to save me from tears, I’m lucky enough to be spending Christmas with my support bubble – a friend who was there when my birthday had to be very different from previous year, who was there when Thanksgiving had to be a FaceTime affair and when Fiskmas could only be virtual.
We’re still sorting out the details but it looks like it will include pigs in blankets, lasagne and a salted caramel roulade (and I’m also trying to organise a worldwide running event).
Why? Well, it’s because if 2020 has taught us anything it’s #youdoyou.
You don’t have to have a traditional Christmas because the traditional aspects of family and gifts just aren’t there this year for many.
The best advice I can give is to follow the advice of Mitten D’Amour.
She’s a pro at spending Christmas Day alone and this year has put together some tips for anyone who is doing this for the first time.
(Note: I worked with her in a previous job at a time when she was having lots of adventures with Jay Rayner. They will definitely put a smile on your face.)
So, once the anger about the Tories mismanagement of the situation has lessened somewhat, make this Christmas about you (and Jesus Christ – if you believe) and just do you.
Stay safe for another week!