Countdown To “Operation Christmas”

for Countdown to Christmas

We’re on the countdown to Operation Christmas in my family.

We’ve been cautiously limiting movements and social contacts in the lead up to December 25 in a bid to safeguard that one special day when we can hopefully come together safely and enjoy good food and fun.

Even my daughter’s dog has been joining in on the celebrations.

While I’m not a fan of shopping online — I like to see the true colours, textures and size of items — I have to admit it has been a blessing this year.

It has enabled me to finish off last-minute present buying and order all the festive food, without physically having to go near a shop (no impulse buying either). 

Operation Christmas has its drawbacks

Of course, Operation Christmas and withdrawing from society has its setbacks, you can go a bit stir-crazy for one thing.

So, just before climbing the walls or opening another pack of mince pies, my other half and I headed out for a much-needed change of scene and the perfect destination was Dundee’s waterfront. 

Visit to Dundee's Waterfront

V&A Dundee. Photograph by Yvonne McKenzie.

Nestled alongside the prestigious V&A Dundee is the stunning whale sculpture which I’ve only seen from afar.

Beneath the tubular “bones” of the structure created by Lee Simmons, you get a real feel for the magnificent scale of it, added to which both sound and lights make for a truly sensory experience.

Boosted the spirits 

Stylish seating allows you to have a rest from your stroll and there’s even an optimistic wedge of sand promising brighter days to come. Fountains lit by a changing kaleidoscope of colours make for the most stunning of settings overlooking the Tay. Even on a fairly grey, cold Sunday it boosted the spirits.

trip to Dundee

A glimpse of the RRS Discovery. Photograph by Yvonne McKenzie.

 I was surprised to learn that people first crossed the expanse of McGonagall’s “Silvery Tay” as early as 1565 – so in Mary Queen of Scot’s lifetime. There’s so much history along this shoreline alone – from the Tay Bridge Disaster of December 28, 1879 (when The People’s Friend was already a household name) to the RRS Discovery which forged its way into history, thanks to the brave souls who sailed on her. 

Next time we’re climbing the walls, we may just make a return visit to Riverside Nature Park also on the Tay, where we met friendly Highland cattle. A great day out, rounded off with that mince pie once we got home! 

Visit to Dundee

Highland cattle. Photograph by Yvonne McKenzie.

As for “Operation Christmas”, I remind myself that it is just one day of the year and care to minimise the spread of Covid remains a top priority each and every day.

For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.