Christmas – has it arrived too early this year?

SO Christmas is here… already… And has been for at least a week in Sainsbury’s give or take a few days. Lakeland have launched their Christmas range for 2012, getting in there at the beginning before all the rest I imagine and who can resist a Lakeland Christmas! Then there’s the seamless appearance of all the Christmas cards in those wonderful Charity shops but I can’t help thinking that it’s all a wee bit early this year…

It’s a weird thing to say from my point of view – I ADORE Christmas! I drive my entire family nuts and a fair few of my friends with my August playing of cheesy Christmas songs, planning and plotting the festive frivolities; I’ve often wondered what Christmas would be like all the year round! I gleefully welcome the onslaught of the Season of Good Cheer but this year I think it’s all just a little bit early, a little bit heartless, a whole lot commercial and just a little bit lost…

There are those who feel Christmas should stay in December and only December, but I just think that’s just a bit late by then, but I can see their point. In merchandising terms, it used to be that Christmas kicked off on Bonfire Night, that was the deadline for shops and stores to be ready – which is over a month away from now! These days we’re drip fed Christmas from late August, to the point that when stores do jazz up their shop windows, hang up their decorations to dazzle us we’re all a little bit indifferent, a little bit worn down and a little bit fatigued by the season of good will. We’ve already bought our festive short breads and After Eight mints way back in late summer when they were on offer, and possibly again in October because we were feeling a bit peckish one night and there wasn’t anything else…

So it seems to be me that no matter how traditional our Christmas’s appear, no matter how personal we make it, we’re governed by commercialism, by marketing stratagems and forecasts, by clever psychological shopping tricks that actually entice us to shop early, to shop for 2, 3 or even 4 Christmas’s in one year. More to the point are we actually happy, have our spirits been lifted, have we shown good will to all men (whilst fighting over the last turkey crown in Sainsbury’s because you always forget something!) The answer is probably no…

So this Christmas, the one in December, the only one in this year of Glorious 2012, have a little think about whose in charge of your Christmas. Yes the shops may have festive biscuits on their shelves, those cards may be sparkling at you at eye height but you don’t have to buy them just yet, you don’t have to buy anything at all, in fact you could instead, just for a change buy from a quirky, nothing is too much trouble, local independent shop or you could always, even more special & worthwhile, make it yourself…

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