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Opinion
Maria Tadeo

All I Want for Christmas Is a Reality Check

European governments have put off preparing their citizens for Putin’s weaponization of winter. Making up for lost time will be painful.

Christmas in Madrid, 2021.

Christmas in Madrid, 2021.

Photographer: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP

The mayor of Vigo in Galicia, Spain, has already started preparing for the city’s annual Christmas extravaganza. This is in spite of the government’s attempt to reduce electricity consumption in cooperation with the European Union. Taking the lights down, the mayor argues, would hand Vladimir Putin a victory if the holiday spirit — and spending that comes with it — gets crushed by the war.

You'd think in the context of a looming energy crisis, setting up lights would rank at the bottom of the list of priorities. I love Christmas as much as anyone, I hope that this year it comes wrapped in a reality check — for everyone.