Friday, 28 August 2009

Is it really that time of the year already?

This article on Yahoo! News caught my eye. Campaigners in Leeds are threatening to superglue the locks of businesses which start selling Christmas cards before 1st November.

While I can't agree with the violent way these campaigners are expressing themselves, especially as the shops in question are charity shops, I have to sympathise with their aim to contain the annual retail sales mayhem that is Christmas.

It's only the end of August now and people are already starting to mention the number of shopping days to go... information leaflets are appearing for Christmas parties at hotels and restaurants... I haven't seen any cards or wrapping paper in shops yet, but if it doesn't appear before the beginning of October I'll eat my hiking boots.

Let nobody say Bah Humbug. I love Christmas. But it's getting silly now. I heard a song once that said "Christmas comes but once a year and goes on for 2 months". These days make that 3 or even 4 months.

It's just madness. The amount of expectation, planning, and the sheer amount of money spent on food, presents and cards is astonishing. And that's fuelled every year by retailers hoping to cash in on the bonanza.

Call me Mrs Scrooge if you will, but I would like to see the following not start until 1st December, or 1st November at the earliest:
  • Sales of Christmas cards / wrapping paper
  • Piped Christmas musak in shops (which drives the staff, if not the customers, round the twist as they have to listen to it all day for weeks on end)
  • Christmas decorations in towns, shops and house windows
  • Encouragements to stock up on Christmas food
  • Pester power adverts for children's Christmas presents
I know Christmas is the best time of the year in terms of sales volume for many businesses. But a business that started its Christmas campaign no earlier than November would get my vote as a customer.

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