In an unprecedented move, I started to plan for Christmas this week.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s October. And you’re right. We haven’t yet marked the passing of All Hallows’ Eve, and fireworks are still shelved ahead of bonfire night next month.
Many of us are even holding on to the hope that the summer wardrobe will make one last appearance, with reports that temperatures could surpass the 20 degree mark this weekend.
But when I got the nod that my December leave had been signed off (hurrah for Christmas falling on a Thursday and bank holidays rolling into a weekend) I turned straight to Virgin’s train schedule and booked my seat for a Christmas Eve journey home. Travel arrangements sorted, and one’s mind couldn’t be shifted from the festive season. The search for the perfect presents for friends and family is on. And it seems I’m not the only one who’s made a start.
According to John Lewis, in September the most popular search term on its website was ‘Christmas’, prompting them to move the section to the front of their online portal.
It’s the same story inside many shops, too, with trees and decorations popping up at will, and notice boards heralding ‘Destination Christmas’ adorning shop windows. Supermarkets are also following suit, over the past few weeks adding a couple of seasonal goodies at a time to ease us into the pre-Christmas splurge.
First it was mince pies creeping on to the shelves, next a figgy pudding appearing without warning alongside their daily essentials. As if we wouldn’t notice.
It is, perhaps, a step too far, even for this elf-wannabe. Present planning I can understand.
Shopping always gets a yes from me, and ghosts of Christmas past tell me that one can never begin the search too soon. But starting tucking into festive favourites now is surely not a good idea.
And it’s not like we can stock up – buy now to spread the cost of Christmas. With 69 days to go until the big day itself, I’m not sure any mince pie could go the distance.
And as for cake, personally I wouldn’t fancy eating a slice in two-and-a-half month’s time which was bought from a shop selling Hallowe’en toffees.
So I’m going to save myself until December at least. Otherwise I worry it’ll be egg and chips for Christmas dinner.