Merry pop culture Christmas to all … and to all a goodnight!

(c) Aardman Animation Limited and Studiocanal S.A.)

Well, hello and goodbye to 2021, thank you very much!

As I sat writing my brief thoughts for 2020 on last year’s Christmas Eve post, I thought we were free and clear of COVID; well, not completely obviously since an outbreak and partial city lockdown in Sydney meant we couldn’t go south to celebrate Christmas with the family there but surely once that was over, we could breathe a sigh of healthy relief, yes?

That would be a “NO” in fact, with this optimistic older soul falling for the delusional idea that the changing of a calendar to another year automatically wiped the slate clean and made everything better.

That’s in fact not even remotely what happened with 2021 witnessing the arrival of the highly-infectious Delta strain which saw Sydney plunged into a citywide lockdown from mid-June to late October, keeping us safe indoors but making it all but impossible to live anything approaching a normal life.

Goodbye all the movies I planned to see – well mostly; a number were rushed onto streaming platforms which meant the schedule wasn’t completely wiped clean – and books I planned to buy in person (yay online ordering! Boo to postal delays on an epic scale) with my only real options being the slew of shows that made it onto Netflix, Apple TV+ etc and the songs available to stream or download.

Not ideal but hardly disastrous and I found a way to cope but as with every lockdown, especially a long one, it begin to eat away at my mental and emotional wellbeing.

While I am loathe to go full Pollyanna mode on 2022 because well, did you see THIS YEAR (??!!), an inclination emboldened by the fact that the all-new Omicron strain is waiting for its big pandemic entrance, I am hoping, and yes, in this guy’s heart, it weirdly does spring eternal, bouts of dark disillusion aside, that the next year will be all sunshiny and bright and that all those vaccines and health measures will mean the world does get back kind of back to normal.

While we wait breathlessly for that to happen, may you have the merriest of Christmases if you celebrate, and a 2022 that offers some rich joys, no matter how it all pans out.

In the meantime, may your Christmas be all Santa and not icy toy store monsters …

Pink and Panther-y because who doesn’t want a festive celebration of any other colour?

All decorated up to everyone’s satisfaction …

Feeling awash in most wonderful time of the year vibes …

Full of gifts you will treasure …

… and friends you will want around you, not just Christmas but always and all year round …

Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Not if Peanuts have anything to do with it! The gorgeous gang given comic strip life by Charles M. Schulz are back with an all-new special on Apple TV+ plus which is available to stream now.

And this is just ridiculously Christmas fun …

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