Christmas is going to be “funny” this year

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Nobody will deny that this has been a strange year. Nobody will deny that tourism and travel has never faced so many problems as it has since the second world war.

Christmas Market - Birmingham
part of the German Christmas Market in Birmingham in 2016

Overseas holidays and travel have been severely curtailed with many of us not having a summer break at all. Or perhaps a trip into local countryside and towns.

In the last part of any year, tourism is on many people’s agenda as they consider trips to Christmas markets either here or abroad. They book to see pantomimes and plan visits with family over Christmas and the new year.

Will Christmas be like any other this year?

Scotland’s Clinical Director, Jason Leitchhas said this won’t be like a normal Christmas and his views probably would be echoed by medical professionals throughout the UK.

Usually Just about Travel publishes a list of over 100 Christmas pantomimes being held in our countries. Not this year. Some are still scheduled at the time of writing but most seem to have been postponed to 2021.

It was only a few days ago that Qdos Entertainment announced that it would try and stage ten pantos (normally it produces 34 in a season) including ones at the London Palladium and the Birmingham Hippodrome.

Those pantomimes help fund theatres for much of the year until the next panto season dawns. What will they do for cash this season? And what will dames like Clive Rowe and Christopher Biggins do this Christmas? Brian Conley won’t be playing Buttons but Julian Clary will be playing, well, Julian Clary at the Palladium. Then there are all the other specialist panto performers that make panto so appealing and on whom shows rely once some headline “star” gets the punters in.

How it will be staged, what topical jokes there will be and how many can be seated is yet to be decided.

We usually report from one or two Christmas markets (Birmingham being the biggest) and run stories about Christmas markets in any number of European countries not just the more famous ones in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Coach companies and other tour operators usually plan to carry many tens of thousands of people to overseas Christmas markets. But will anyone want to go this year even if the countries are on the “green list?”

They also provide tours into London’s West End for Christmas shows and into other cities for festive offerings.

When our children were much younger we used to take them up to the Royal Albert Hall on Christmas Eve for an evening of carols with all the musicians and singers wearing Georgian dress. That became quite a tradition but it probably won’t be held this year.

Last year at the London Palladium Julian Clary is back this year along with Elaine Paige, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot in “Pantoland at the Palladium.”

The same goes for carol concerts in many churches and schools. And despite what anyone says, “virtual” concerts aren’t the same thing at all as I found out when I tuned in to one of this year’s Prom concerts. Without an audience the ambience is completely different.

At this stage, Christmas looks like being as un-Christmassy as it is possible to be althoigh that hasn’t stopped two channels run by Sony and Hallmark pumping out asy watching Christmas films from October.

Television will be no doublt dig out old repeats of Eric & Ernie, the Two Ronnies and many European television stations will show Freddie Frinton’s drunk skit  –Dinner for One – as it has done for decades.

Maybe Christmas will be a little bit similar to other ones after all.

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