Can I be the first to wish you all a very merry Christmas?
Yes, ridiculous isn’t it – we’ve not even had Halloween or Bonfire Night but supermarkets are already suffering from OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder).
Some are even selling mince pies. I mean who buys mince pies in September? Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas... in the month of December. Mention the C-word to me any earlier than late November and I may be tempted to strangle you with a piece of tinsel.
Too many businesses seem to take the Wizzard track “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” too literally and the run-up to Christmas seems to start earlier each year.The problem is when something drags on for ages, it can make it seem less special.
It’s like when people book their wedding a few years in advance and keep sharing every little detail of their nuptials, colour scheme, seating plans and bridesmaids’ dresses with you. While you might be genuinely interested for the first few months of wedding talk, by the time the big day draws closer, your eyes glaze over until you want to stab yourself with a wedding cake knife.
Or it’s like when parents-to-be announce their pregnancy from the moment they’ve taken the pregnancy test (or even straight after conception).
When the baby eventually arrives, you secretly feel it’s been the longest pregnancy in history rivalling the 95-week gestation period of elephants.
While diehard Christmas fans love having that Christmassy feeling for as long as possible, many are already fed-up and claim commercialism is killing Christmas.
While I appreciate the need to be organised and plan ahead, I’m incredulous some people have had their works Christmas do booked since the start of the year.
And I found it mildly depressing to read about the woman who already has Christmas all wrapped up after starting her festive shop last Boxing Day. Yes, I’m sure she’s saved lots of money, but where’s the fun in that?
While I’m all for a bargain, there’s a risk people can become obsessed with saving money they end up buying gifts that are cheap rather than what people want.
More often than not, it’s those who have plenty of money who are extraordinarily stingy with presents. They buy cut-price things months in advance – even if it’s something the recipient doesn’t want. What’s the point of buying something that will only get shoved in a drawer and never used?
Food frugality also comes to the fore. I know of someone who bought a reduced Christmas turkey on Boxing Day the year before. Some even buy reduced food items months ahead and freeze them so they can serve up a buffet of whoopsie food.
Christmas coming too early brings out the grinches, grouches and scrooges.
My favourite retort comes from a colleague in response to hearing about a wine advent calendar.
His words were: “24 days of drinking to help you forget the cash you spent, relatives you hate and the yawning hell of the looming new year. Sign me up.”