Pub to celebrate Christmas Day in MAY with Secret Santa & carol singing after Covid shutdown ruined festive knees-up

A PUB is set to celebrate Christmas Day tomorrow with Secret Santa and carol singing for festive punters – five months after December 25.

The Nursery Inn in Hartlepool will be hosting their annual Christmas Day celebrations in May after the coronavirus shutdown cancelled the real festivities last year.

In a bid to make up for lost time, the pub will be hosting Christmas on the last Sunday in May – with the inside of the boozer decked in festive decorations.

And in the run-up to the fake 'big day,' the pub has been hosting their annual Christmas advent every night since May 17.

The pub manager Deborah Humberston told Teesside Live: "We didn’t get our Christmas at the pub, so we said as soon as we can come inside we’ll start our advent and we’ll have Christmas Day at the end of the month.

"We’ve been doing our Christmas advent every night where we choose a table to open the advent and see what they’ve won.

"The last couple of Fridays since we opened we’ve done Festive Friday and if anyone comes in a Christmas hat, jumper, tie, whatever, they get a free shot."

Prizes behind the advent doors are normally Christmas themed – but the manager said because it's out of season, it's been difficult to stock up on the normal goodies.

The Christmas decorations in the boozer have even remained up since the end of 2020.

And the pub will officially be celebrating Christmas Day on Sunday, May 30 – with a special line-up in store, including carols by the Hartlepool Brass Band.

Deborah has been counting down the days until her punters can have their annual sing-a-long and spread some festive cheer.

The customers are taking part in a Secret Santa, but just with a small unisex gift that Santa will give out on Sunday afternoon at random.

She added: "I love it, I sing carols all year long and I get in trouble, I don’t even realise I’m doing it. Everyone just generally has a bit of a sing-a-long and a good time really."

Going to the pub’s Christmas Day is free, but social distancing must be observed.

While the staff and customers couldn’t celebrate together in December, Deborah made sure their annual Secret Santa still went ahead.

Over 40 customers took part, and Deborah and Santa himself, collected and delivered the gifts to everyone’s doorstep.

In December, the Government U-turned on their advice that families would be able to meet up over the festive period.

The PM slapped draconian Tier 4 measures on London, the South East and East of England, admitting “bitter regret” at axing family get-togethers.

The change in advice caused fury among families who already made plans, booked travel and bought food and gifts for much longed-for reunions.

Mr Johnson told 18million people they must "sacrifice" Christmas.

At the time, the more contagious Kent variant was ripping through the country as cases and deaths mounted – eventually forcing the country back into full lockdown in January.

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