It’s going to be a funny old Christmas this year, isn’t it?

At this moment in time we are still not sure whether family gatherings will be allowed, even small ones. And whilst I am ok with that if it helps us on our road to corona-recovery, it makes the ending of this year feel a little bit bleak. The rumour that there will be no Christmas tree in Beeston square this year, and certainly no ‘lights switch-on’ event, appears to be true. Of course this is understandable if we want to avoid transmitting the virus, but if this is the case then it might be time for our wonderful community to create a little bit of their own magic!

I also though this might be something that the Bee Creative Community could get behind. In the past I have chosen to distribute a few excess baubles around the park for others to enjoy. Early one morning, I set out with a bag of 15 large decorations and hang them from the low branches of three or four trees. I had picked up a couple of sparkly ‘Merry Christmas’ hanging decorations to go on the bigger tree – obviously I had been planning this for a few weeks before. Just as I was stringing up the last bauble, a man safely snuggled up in his winter coat, hat and scarf tucked up around his chin, walked towards me in the park and I could see from the crinkles around his eyes that he was smiling.

That small ten minute burst of decorating wasn’t much, but I like to think that it gave many passing through just a moment of joy. At a time when the landscape can appear desolate, those bare twigs and branches were just asking for something colourful and shiny to cheer up a grey winter day. And as it’s quite likely that our festive meet-ups will be all be held outdoors this year why not decorate our public spaces a little to bring alive the spirit of the season. I can see already that others in the community have been thinking the same, and Jeanie O’Shea¬† who is the driving force behind Beeston Street Art is championing something in the absence of Beeston’s usual traditions. And of course we always look forward to the window displays on Chilwell High Road.

What I am proposing this year, is that we set aside an hour next weekend to add a little sparkle to one designated space, and then encourage local people to pick a tree, a bush or even set of railings, to decorate and bring some magic to our little town. We have seen how popular the Beeston Tree Fairy has been over lockdown, and I am fully expecting some families in our local community to deck out their front gardens in the way they did at Halloween. People may well be needing a bit of extra twinkle in their day this December and it could be so easy to achieve. I think that if individuals take responsibility for just one tree, we could have our public spaces looking really pretty for Christmas.

I had already thought about decorating a tree myself a few weeks ago and picked up a bag full of baubles from a charity shop before lockdown. For less than a fiver I managed to find thirty large baubles in complimentary colours which will make a fine display I think! I just need to equip some of them with a loop so they can be hung. As long as they are weatherproof and secured well, the adornments should last well into the new year!

Come on Beeston, let’s make our town sparkle!