It's Strictly time! And Christmas is just around the corner
Talking Point columnist Megan Archer is already full of Christmas joy
It’s back! Strictly Come Dancing is back!
Unashamed to admit it, but when Strictly waltzes back onto my TV screen each year, my overall happiness shoots up a good 75 per cent.
I adore the sparkle, the glitz, the glamour; the swirling dresses, shiny shoes and big smiles.
I love Craig’s grumpy-cat persona, Tess and Claudia’s terrible jokes, and the pure joy of everyone competing. They really do genuinely seem like they are loving every second, and that’s what I love to see.
But my very secret, special reason as to why I love Strictly?
It’s a sign – my own personal sign – that it’s nearly Christmas. Yes, Christmas. You read correct! This is a column about Christmas – in September.
I realise that we, as a nation – for all those who celebrate the holiday – are slightly (massively) divided on Christmas.
I know people who’ll put up their tinsel-covered tree on December 1 (me, unless I can get away with earlier) and people who’ll wait until a minute to midnight on December 24 (usually my dad, if he even puts it up at all).
I’ve met people who have ‘rules’ about the right time to eat a mince pie, wear a Christmas jumper, or enjoy a warming cup of mulled wine. Look, let me tell you, there is no right time.
I’ve been looking longingly at my least Christmassy jumper – a little grey woolly one with a picture of a robin on it (an all-year-round bird I’ll just point out) – wondering when can I wear it.
My human rights say now, today! Or the middle of June if I wanted. The Scrooges in my life insist I wait until December 1.
But I don’t like these festive rules forced upon me.
I’ve realised, as I get older, that Christmas has been speeding up year on year. When I was little, opening the first cardboard door of my advent calendar, peeling back the thin foil inside to reveal a miniature chocolate, Christmas Day felt like ages away.
It always took so long to come around, and I was desperate for time to go faster.
But last year, I honestly couldn’t tell you where time went.
One moment I was at Birmingham Christmas Market’s launch night on November 16 ordering a foot-long hot dog and a mug of mulled wine, feeling smug that I’d started celebrating nice and early; then the next minute, it was January 2 and I was back at work wondering if I had been tricked.
It makes sense to start celebrating earlier, in my eyes.
I don’t want to quite be like that man who celebrates Christmas all year round and has eggnog for breakfast, but I do want to enjoy the festive season nice and early with no judgement.
Or if you want to judge, do so silently.
If something makes you genuinely happy, and doesn’t harm anyone else, then what’s stopping you doing it?
So I’m going to pour myself a sherry, have a mince pie, and start wearing my robin jumper – probably as early as October this time.
If you think you’re an even bigger fan of Christmas email me at firstname.lastname@example.org