Halesworth got into the Christmas spirit last Saturday with the big Halesworth Christmas lights switch on and as usual the town got into the festive spirit with a range of events to mark the occasion. So do the lights make you feel the Christmas spirit or do they make you say “Bah humbug”?
It is generally considered a great honour to be the one who switches on the lights, marking the start of the Christmas season and getting everyone excited for the festive period. Usually the person will be a celebrity or someone with some kind of official capacity. Halesworth got the winner of the Scarecrow Treasure Hunt.
For some, and i’m one, this is seen as a lovely gesture that is more special than some random B-list celebrity grinning inanely as they try to not look like an idiot while operating a switch. However for other people it may indicate some Scrooge-like behaviour on the council’s part that they perhaps couldn’t be bothered to get a big name to mark the occasion (and given a number of big names are known to live around the local area it’s not as daft a suggestion as you may think, with people like Richard Curtis known to live nearby).
Of course there are plenty of humbuggers out there who would prefer it if there were no lights at all (and indeed some councils don’t, often citing insurance costs or “health and safety concerns”.) But this is often to miss the point – marking the start of the Christmas period and giving people the chance to come together in a great celebration of the Christmas period in the local area as opposed to the horrible rugby scrum of the Black Friday sales.
In my opinion a bit of Christmas cheer is needed and it is vital that people are aware of what is on their doorstep rather than heading elsewhere. Halesworth is a charming small town and it is vital people appreciate what they have and events like this are a big part of it. And yes, I do like the lights and think they look great!