Has time lost all meaning for you? Join the club

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Has time lost all meaning for you? Join the club

ANALYSIS | Covid is teaching us that the symbols and structures that give shape to our lives need not be set in stone

Gillian Tett

For the past few weeks, a guilty secret has been lurking in my living room: a pine tree, about nine feet tall, with silver and gold ornaments and a wonky star on top. Yes, our Christmas tree. Still.

In “normal” years — the pre-Covid life that now seems so distant — my family would drag it on to the ­pavement as soon as Christmas was over. I presumed not doing so would seem sloppy and incur bad luck; a new year is supposed to be a fresh and joyful start, with no clinging to the holidays required.

But when I tried to take down our tree in early January, my teenage daughters howled that they wanted to keep it and its pretty lights because “it cheers us all up” and evoked memories of the ­jollity that we organised on Christmas Day, even when cooped up...

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