I nearly didn’t do an advent calendar this year, partly because none of the ideas I had quite grabbed me, and partly because what with a General Election exactly halfway through advent, the planet being on fire and the overwhelming shitshow that is both the global and national political scene, I wasn’t sure I could keep up the requisite amount of seasonal cheer.
But then I realised, well, that’s the point, isn’t it? A moment of brightness in the dark. A chance to remember that not everything is awful. So this year’s calendar will feature a daily dose of good news, as well as a Christmas song that makes me happy. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that all Christmas songs would make me happy, but some make me wistful and others make me irritated and nothing that falls into either category gets a look-in this year. I am also not including anything by anyone whose death I am still sad about, so there’s no George Michael (sorry Lucy), David Bowie or Kirsty McColl this year, but we are allowed Bing Crosby and, of course, because it is literally the happiest Christmas song of all, Andy Williams with his completely joyous and uplifting version of Sleigh Ride.
As Adam Hills says on The Last Leg every time something awful happens, the trick to avoid sinking into despair is to look for the people who are helping. Today’s good news is a month old, but you might have missed it: a research team in Sweden have found a way to store solar energy for up to ten years, making the prospect of heating homes in winter via solar power a viable one.