OPINION: Enjoy every last drop of the festivities - Nick Hancock, Your Harrogate

A tip for you. Never, ever, ever ask on the radio “when should we start playing Christmas songs?”

It is potentially more divisive than Brexit or even the Harrogate Station Gateway!

A lot of people firmly believe there is an unwritten law that festive tunes can only be heard from December 1.

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To play Slade, Band Aid or the Pogues any earlier is a terrible crime and radio stations and shops that commit such an atrocity should hang their heads in shame.

I’m afraid I disagree.

Here’s the thing, this year more than any other year ever, I disagree.

If shops want to play All I want for Christmas is you every day in November that is fine by me.

I am all in favour of a long and glorious festive period this year to make up for what we missed in 2020.

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It shows how life goes on and how resilient we have all been that we can easily forget that this time last year we were back in the lockdown.

The lockdown that was going to save Christmas (cue a Boris “alas” at the latest Press conference to interrupt Strictly Come Dancing).

Last year we didn’t have a proper Christmas and so this year I encourage all of us to enjoy every last drop of all the things we couldn’t do 12 months ago.

It starts on Saturday with the Stray Bonfire organised by the Harrogate Round Table.

I am delighted to be hosting this alongside Will Smith.

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I am even more delighted that the weather forecast is “dry and mild” (I am actually smiling as I write those words as that never happens!).

Also, on Saturday our friends at Harrogate Town have an FA cup tie against Wrexham who just happen to have film star owners who we are all hoping to bump into at the Cedar Court or West Park!

Other festive favourites which we can enjoy again this year include a special church service at Rudding Park for St Michael’s Hospice.

A big Christmas light switch on event in Ripon on November 20.

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The Country Living Christmas Fair at the Convention Centre at the end of the month and of course the famous shop window competition organised by Harrogate Rotary.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the shops in Harrogate, Ripon, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge feel like they’re buzzing again.

We all missed seeing our family and friends last year over Christmas and New Year so this year there will be more meals out and I hope that means all our brilliant pubs, restaurants and hotels will be booming too.

Being on the radio at Christmas is always the best bit of the job... from Sleeps to Santa, to our annual Animal competition ‘Santa Paws’ to giving away £1000 to one lucky family in the district thanks to the Spirit of Harrogate.

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It will all be happening on Your Harrogate alongside all the best Christmas music.

Plus I have promised the team that we will have a Christmas party this year too... so the hangovers will also be back!

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