THE British people won't be beaten by a lockdown! They like to celebrate Christmas and, after the year they've had, who can blame them?

So the jingle tills are ringing before the fireworks have even illuminated the skies as people race to the shops before the lockdown begins on Thursday.

It is to be hoped that the mini-rush brings some solace to our retailers. If we are still a nation of shopkeepers, we are a nation that is hurting. After a year harmed by the pandemic, our retailers must have had high hopes for the crucial Christmas period only for many of them to be shut by the Government's second lockdown.

Shoppers are to be encouraged to patronise local shops, rather than just rely on the internet, because our ailing high street, which can offer great and even unique choices, needs all the support it can get.

But, if you are dashing out on this last day of freedom, please remember the latest three word phrase: "Hands, face, space." In the frenzy of the queues, there is a chance of picking up a thoroughly unwanted gift which could ruin any family Christmas, so do make sure you keep your distance and keep your safety.