The time has come for me to write the Jacksons’ blog and Christmas message for 2020. Usually at this time of year we are frantically finishing work for clients that they would like completed, before the year end, and in between we are attending as many gatherings as we can to meet and exchange seasons greetings with clients and contacts and we are hosting our traditional Jacksons’ celebrations – Christmas party and all firm Christmas jumper lunch being events on the Jacksons’ calendar year after year.
This year we are frantically finishing work for clients but all gatherings are on Zoom and our traditional Jacksons’ events have been replaced by lunchtime bingo, an evening quiz, a Christmas jumper Zoom gathering and an ‘everyone is a winner’ tombola event. We have had to be much more imaginative than usual and whilst all of our events have been fun, we have missed in person interaction with each other. We have missed sharing a joke with a colleague in person, discussing outfits for parties, toasting each other over a drink but most of all the joy of celebrating together. The important thing though is that we are there for each other now, through the holiday period and in the New Year.
For many families Christmas will also be distanced and I know for many this feels heart-breaking. In the first draft of this blog I wrote this – I know personally I will be able to see my grown up children and their partners over Christmas but I will travel the length of the country to stay near my elderly parents, but will not be able to hug them or enter their house. As of Saturday at 4pm, like so many people, I need to write something different as 2020 has once again taken another turn. So I know personally I will not see one of my grown up children in person, who is stuck in tier 4, and I cannot travel to see my elderly parents. Once again this year we will be relying on Zoom and Facetime. It will all be difficult and feels really weird but I know we are lucky compared with so many families who have suffered terrible loss and sadness due to the pandemic and our hearts go out to them. So as with all the office events, our family will do our best to make things fun and festive and hope for better things in 2021. Tomorrow my parents get their first dose of the vaccine – there is light at the end of this tunnel and for now the most important thing is that we follow the rules and do everything we can to stop the spread of this terrible virus. It is the greatest gift of love in this season to try and keep everyone safe.
This has certainly been a year when we have learnt what is important to us.
As we reflect on 2020 the strangest of years it is incredible how life has changed since March. I don’t know about you but I don’t think I envisaged us living with our current restrictions in December when we entered lockdown 1 in March. It seems like now there is a whole new language – our everyday talk is about bubbles, tiers and mass testing. We consider social distancing, masks and hand sanitiser and discourage staff from coming to work while spending our days shouting “You’re on mute”.
At the end of the day though some things have been consistent we miss hugging our family and friends, we are really proud of what we as a firm have achieved this year and we are eternally grateful to those who have worked so hard and given so selflessly to keep us safe and to help those in need.
So in conclusion our Christmas message for this year is thank you to the NHS and all key workers for everything you have done for us and continue to do. We are immensely grateful to you all.
And to you all on behalf of all of the partners and staff of Jacksons, have a peaceful and safe Christmas and a happy new year. We hope that in 2021 we will get to meet you in person and that thanks to amazing talented scientists we will return to a normal that we took for granted but now know is really really precious.
Jane Armitage, Managing Partner