It’s safe to say that 2020 has been an unsettling, upsetting and unfamiliar start to the new decade. All traditional markers of the year, birthdays, weddings and family celebrations have been forgotten and the seasons have come and gone bearing with them more strange and disconcerting news. So many important festivals have been disrupted too: our thoughts and love go to all individuals and families unable to celebrate Easter in the Spring, Eid over the summer and Diwali earlier this month. Who knows what the situation will be like for Hanukkah and later on for Christmas.
Advent suddenly seems to be just around the corner – the tidings of the festive season, so timelessly conveyed in the ‘comfort and joy’ of God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, hold even more significance this year. As the days get darker and colder we all need to pile on some comfort and joy, as humanity has done at the winter solstice for thousands of years.
What is it about the Christmastime that brings comfort and joy into our lives? Often it is the reunion with decorations carefully stowed away in the loft for the past year, all of which harbour memories of festivities past. Sometimes it is hearing a glimmer of festive music or breathing in that musky trace of cinnamon and zest that transports us to happy times. Books, baubles, even that much maligned Christmas jumper – in a time when it feels like everything is changing it’s a relief that these old friends at least stay the same.
As the candle in the window lights the street, the holly berries gleam amongst the hedges and frost brightens up an early morning, so shall the Felixstowe Book Festival Christmas blog provide some cheer for our festival fans.
With that in mind, we present you with our 2020 Christmas blog series, ‘Comfort and Joy’. Over the course of December, each week you can look forward to the books, music, decorations and other such items that bring comfort and joy to authors and other bookish folk of Felixstowe at Christmastime. The result will (hopefully) be a miscellany of festive treasures to make you smile and feel merry throughout December.
We hope you are looking forward to it!
Imogen and the Festival Team x