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Amazingly, and against all the odds, Spirit of Christmas, London’s beloved, once-a-year, Christmas fair at Olympia will be taking place again. It has been 2 years since we all came together in this glorious preparation for Christmas. We’ve all been through a lot during this time, but slowly, we are hopefully coming through this dark tunnel. It is not a cliche to say this. It is our shared history.

So this is indeed a call for celebration. And I, for one, am very excited to be back. Many will be masked (I certainly will be), double vaxed and trying to maintain social distancing. But Olympia is huge, with high ceilings, open spaces, now wide aisles, and excellent ventilation. Like many stand holders, I have been preparing for months, with new stock and new ideas.

But frankly, it will be such a delight to be able to see old, and of course, new clients in person. And just the buzz of this fair. Spirit of Christmas is a bit like a theatrical performance. What you see when the doors open is only on the surface. An enormous amount of demanding activity has taken place beforehand. All the workers, cleaners, electricians and organisers create the complex backdrop of this fair. And without them, it would all collapse. These are the behind the scene people who give so much thought and care to the running of this demanding week. And then, there are the other stand holders who become like a supportive family. When we begin to do our complex set-ups, there is this lovely camaraderie as we once again greet each other.

For me, it is a joyous, and yes, exhausting experience. It is called "Spirit of Christmas" for a reason. It's not just about shopping and a good day out. The essence of Christmas is love, in all its varied ramifications. Its the precious sense of being together, giving, supporting, laughing, inspiring. Spirit of Christmas is about all of that.

I look enormously forward to seeing you all there. Remember, I am STAND P60, near the stairs in the Grand Hall, and by the aisles…actually, the spot I’ve always inhabited.

So please, all come to celebrate this special fair.

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