There’s a reason why it’s suddenly socially acceptable to put up your Christmas decorations in November.
After seven years of Tory austerity, food banks giving out 1.2m food parcels a year, stagnating wages, rising fuel costs, cuts to the NHS, schools and police and the government making a dog’s breakfast of Brexit – people have finally snapped and need cheering up.
So it’s no surprise that one in 10 pictures on your Facebook is of a friend’s tree lit up like it’s, er, Christmas, while you’re still scraping the last of the bonfire toffee off your back teeth.
For those of us who haven’t yet maxed out our credit cards covering day-to-day bills, the temptation to splurge at Christmas is overwhelming.
I say this every year and some of you listen and some of you don’t. But here it is. Please, please, please, whatever you do in the next four weeks, don’t land yourself in more debt this Christmas. January 2018 will be here before you know it and so will those credit card bills.
There was a report out this week which claimed one third of families haven’t finished paying for Christmas 2016 yet. If that doesn’t make your blood curdle then I have my doubts as to whether you’re actually human.
It’s not that hard to cut costs and still have a brilliant time. Gift amnesties for adult relatives – I don’t buy for you, you don’t buy for me – has saved us hundreds, if not thousands, down the years. Doesn’t mean we think any less of each other, just that we won’t need to make a trip to a charity shop to offload another jumper.
Then there’s the buying itself. It’s all too easy to loaf around the house and order everything on your smartphone and have it delivered to your door for free – which is why I do just that. And so do you, before you get all judgemental.
There’s loads of reasons for it but the main one is this. I can’t believe councils still charge shoppers actual money to park their cars in our towns and cities. It’s like they’ve given everyone another excuse to do all their shopping online.
Still, it’s December tomorrow and it starts for real. Good luck everyone.