December is with us … again! 
Who would have known, last December, just what December 2020 would be like? 
We’ve had a leap year … a year that started optimistically … and then this new virus Covid-19 swept the globe. 
A national lockdown was announced on the 23rd March … who can remember sitting at home and watching the Prime Minister enforcing this unprecedented measure? 
This was followed by the most glorious spring, with day after day of glorious sunshine. 
As spring merged into summer, the good news is we could open … hurrah! 
We worked hard to get ready to greet our guests and re-opened on 4th July. 
The summer passed quickly and then as the new school year began, so did the second wave of Covid-19. 
The rule of 6; the 3 Tiers; Lockdown 2.0 swiftly followed. 
And here we are, looking at a Christmas that’s not been cancelled yet is something that will be celebrated with caution. 
As we currently post this blog, we anticipate being able to open on 2nd December to greet guests in our Covid-Secure guesthouse. 
We understand that many of you will not be able to visit us this festive time. We love the idea of folks being able to experience Whitby virtually and we have taken part in the Welcome to Whitby Dazzling Christmas Advent Calendar
This fantastic idea is being supported by lots of Whitby businesses, including ourselves. Participating businesses put on a dazzling Christmas display and each day in December a door is opened revealing a business behind it. 
Here at the Riviera, we’ve gone for the ‘Rejoice at Riviera’ sometime later this month. You’ll just have to keep visiting the page to find out more! 
So, as December begins, in just a couple of weeks the schools will break up for the festive period and New Year. 
In ‘normal’ times, we would be looking forward to catching up with family and friends, and while this can be done on a very limited scale, it won’t feel like the usual relaxed get-togethers we’ve enjoyed in previous years. 
It is very easy to feel a bit down about things particularly as the daylight hours are so short at the moment … roll on the Winter Solstice! 
However, here at the Riviera Guesthouse, we are nothing if not positive thinkers. 
We have been amazed at the community spirit shown in Whitby and the surrounding area and we have been blessed with the guests we’ve had stay with us this year. 
Mother Nature provided us with so much free entertainment: stunning sunrises and sunsets; birdsong; clear night skies and even a comet during the summer months. 
It is fair to say as a family we’ve had our challenges this year and we understand completely that we are no different to anyone else. 
Our heart goes out to those badly affected by Covid-19 and we (mentally) applaud the key workers that are working so hard to keep our country going, including postal workers, care workers, educational workers, taxi drivers, transport workers and many, many more. It is easy to overlook the fact that there are millions of folks working very hard at the moment. 
Our Christmas celebrations this year will be a little different however we are looking forward to this indulgent and fun time of year. 
Bring on the gluttonous feasts, we say! We’re planning on going totally VERY over the top with festive decorations. We are sure Santa will not be in a Tier and of course he’s a key worker! Rudolph and the other reindeer will also get an extra carrot this year. 
We plan to do some DIY decorations too … maybe make our own Christmas crackers! Our Christmas jumpers have been given an airing, and we’ll be counting down the days once Advent begins. 
We feel most Christmassy when we hear the traditional carols, and we will probably find them more emotional this year. 
So, our family would like to wish everyone out there, guests, staff, family, friends and our neighbours the most wonderful Christmas. 
The New Year seems a long time off … 2021 is a year that we hope will be a year of change, a year of hope and a year in which we continue to care for one another. 
We have learned a few things this year … not to take things for granted; to be grateful for the little things (as shiny conker still in its spiky husk is just as exciting as a brand-new toy); we became more frugal with our store cupboard recipes; and we were kinder to each other even though at times we did get on each other’s nerves just a tiny bit! 
However, we do wish everyone a safe, healthy and peaceful New Year as well, although we’ll be updating our blog again very soon. 
Until next time … 
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