Columnists > For all his merits, there’s a Roundhead aspect to this Pope

19 December 2017 | by Melanie McDonagh

For all his merits, there’s a Roundhead aspect to this Pope

Melanie McDonagh's Notebook


IN NARNIA, WHEN the bad White Witch ruled, it was always winter but never Christmas. The oddity of our own time is that so much of winter – pretty well the whole of December and the tail end of November – is taken up by a premature Christmas. By Christmas Eve, the festive spirit will have been at large for about a month, rather than being bottled up until then. Hilaire Belloc used to go into his garden to cut down the Christmas tree at 5.30 p.m. on Christmas Eve … well, I’ve picked up a tree discarded on the street way before that.

For partygoing Londoners, the Christmas season goes through stages: the parties start in early December, peak in the second week, and peter out about seven to 10 days before Christmas, when people begin to drift away. 


Subscribe to The Tablet from just £19.99 quarterly
3 options available

Share this story

Article List

Post a Comment

You can post as a subscriber user...

User Comments (0)


Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up

Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here