Emma Rchardson writes for the Journal.

Exmouth Journal: Exmouth author Emma Richardson.Exmouth author Emma Richardson. (Image: Emma Richardson)

I’ve been pondering Christmas traditions this week, after reading about the Icelandic tradition of gifting books to loved ones on Christmas Eve and spending the night reading.

Now that’s a custom I can get behind! We all have things we do every year that create our own family traditions- I wonder how many of ours your family might share?

How about the Radio Times tradition (other TV guides are available)? I grew up in a household that bought a TV guide every week, all year, despite there being only four channels.

Nowadays with internet at the touch of a button, I don’t feel the need for a weekly guide, but the joy of the Christmas double edition?

We can’t miss that! It has to be bought in plenty of time and pored over studiously by each family member. Bidding then begins over which programmes we’ll watch - there’s bound to be a clash in schedules at some point.

Then there’s the Christmas cinema trip.

This year Scott Cinemas are showing some great classics from The Grinch to Home Alone.

We might not be spoilt for choice of new releases, but we can still support our local picture house by indulging in a classic film with popcorn.

We’ve visited a couple of times post lockdown and are always impressed by how safe the cinema feels.

My favourite tradition though has to be theatre, when the kids were tiny it was always a Panto.

About eight years ago we discovered a local comedy troupe called Le Navet Bete who always put on something very entertaining at Christmas - I’d go so far as to say they are the funniest performers I’ve seen on stage.

So it was with great excitement that a couple of weekends ago we went to see their newest show at the Exeter Northcott- Treasure Island.

The venue had worked really hard to make the show Covid safe including a one-way system, plentiful hand sanitiser and temperature checks for every audience member on the way in.

Despite all this and being masked throughout, the experience was just as enjoyable as previous Navet Bete shows with a great mix of silliness, storytelling and socially distanced audience participation.

With reduced audience numbers it was hard to see how the show was paying for itself, but it felt great to be supporting both the local actors and the local theatre.

The arts are very close to my heart and I so desperately want theatres, artists and all their associated professionals to be able to bounce back from this dreadful year.

It all starts and ends with bums on seats; if like me you value this culture and you’re able to get out and support it, I highly recommend the show. It runs until January 9th and there are still tickets available at the time of writing.

We might not be doing all the things we’d normally do over the festive period this year, but we can still take some pleasure from the little things we can do. Now where’s that TV Guide?

It’s behind you!

Oh no it isn’t…