The Silver Bauble #10 - 17/5/20
A Look Into The Crystal Snowglobe

Hello :)

We thought we’d check in with you and have a ponder about what’s going on. It’s Linus here, and Nick’s waving in the background. We’re both OK and healthy, although my work schedule has become rather erratic, and Nick will be taking a break from his career from July due to various repercussions from the current health crisis.

We hope you’ve been enjoying the old posts we’ve been putting up during the lockdown. It’s been nice to be reminded of the good times, even if we don’t watch every single video. But how do we move forwards from this?

It’s going to be a very different Christmas Run-Up this year. Already various Christmas events have been cancelled, even including Christmas markets and light switch-ons. It looks like that any event that involves crowds will be right out this year, and this includes a large swathe of what we usually look forward to every year. Shops, if they open up fully in time, probably won’t have lavish Christmas departments this year. However some stores re-use their Christmas set-ups every year, especially the big garden centres, so they will always be worth a visit if it’s safe.

It is likely that the bulk of this year’s Christmas shopping will be done online, so that we can avoid the crowds, so expect lots more Christmas departments on those straggling shops which still hadn’t embraced online shopping last year. It’ll be surprising if they have big piles of paper catalogues laying around their stores for us to pick up, so maybe this time around we may see the death of the paper gift catalogue?

But… supply chains will be strained as demand falls and the number of people actively working drops, so we should be prepared for the various ranges to be a little less comprehensive this time around. Maybe there will be a rise in homemade gifts? This can be both a good thing and a bad thing…

So we can be sure that most of the shops will still be around to sell to us, so the Christmas Press Shows may be up and running this year, although they may be later this year due to uncertainties around what may be possible to make and sell. It is also very likely these events will be completely online, so keep an eye on social media, and we’ll report everything we can find. Whereas in previous years it was very tricky to find any online coverage of the Christmas Press Shows as they happen, this time around the stores may welcome and embrace the chance to get their news out there.

And then there’s the ads, which will be very different this year. Social distancing means that crowds scenes are out, and the backstage crew will need to be reduced in order to remain safe. But this will allow different styles of ads to flourish. We’ve seen with TV shows that an awful lot can be accomplished from home and close-to-empty locations, and there’s plenty of scope for green-screen work. This could be a bumper time for animators and computer graphic artists, so we could expect a move away from the traditional montage of festive scenes over to seasonal stories. But we fear that, as money is tight across the board, there’ll be a move to cheap informational ads that show the festive ranges, and that’ll be it.

Christmas TV will be a little subdued this year. The big studio shows will be few and far between, and probably won’t feature an audience. Hopefully enough shows will have reached the post-production stage so that Christmas schedules aren’t completely filled with repeats. As for the broadcasters themselves, advertising revenue is down, and the BBC is under increasing financial pressure, so we may have to look forward to very little in the way of fresh festive presentation.

However, if finances allow it, and looking at what was produced last year, with a bit of imagination a lot of it could be reproduced whilst still staying safe. It won’t be easy - we’re hearing that producing current TV shows safely takes a lot longer than normal - but the end result of such efforts will be well worth it.

Bottom line: there will still be festive food, drink, ads, films, TV shows, songs, friends and family. This Christmas will have everything, just packaged differently and maybe in smaller doses. And we can still share it all online - we at Christmas UK are not going anywhere!

We fully intend to be back online properly on June 25th to begin our Christmas Press Show coverage - if anything goes online, we’ll report it! We hope you’ll join us, too.

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