Oi Santa, on your bike!

...or should that be sleigh? I don’t care how many shopping days there are til Christmas, I don’t want to think about it until December.

Oi Santa, on your bike!

Have you noticed? It’s starting already. The back-to-school displays are barely tidied away and Halloween’s mess of orange and black may not even be out yet, but Christmas stuff is sneaking in.

For me it starts with invitations to the launch of some Christmas product ranges – I always refuse. Then restaurants start revealing their festive menus, like the turkey and sprouts combo is going to come as a surprise.

At the supermarket, perfectly ordinary products are starting to feature stars, sleighs and holly on their packaging. Hey, your loo roll just got seasonal, best buy double.

And the Christmas noise is starting up from the children. I’ll find myself being forced to watch adverts for over-priced toys that will almost certainly not do what they promise. Torn out pages from autumn/winter catalogues find their way into my in-tray with rings scrawled around choice items. Lists are already being drawn up and revised.

It's just crackers

Every year the annual festival of consumerism and national absence of commonsense starts earlier and earlier. We are a country in recession; there are cuts, cutbacks and hard times. Furthermore, for most of the rest of the year we are urged to recycle, reuse and reduce our consumption. Parenting advisors suggest we should get our children outside doing more and don’t spoil them by indulging their every whim. They should turn their backs on gadgets and junk food for a better life.

Why then is this festive madness allowed to run for so long? Any day now there will be Christmas displays in our department stores, grottos erected, lights switched on by Z-listers and doomed diets launched to fit into party dresses that you’ll buy even though there are dozens in your wardrobe already.

It means we are faced with months and months of Christmas build-up. Surely nothing can ever live up to this level of hype. Each year, by the time we stagger to the end of term past panto and nativity play my children are exhausted, their expectations of Christmas are unreasonably high and we’re all skint.

Jingle tills

I have tried to go with the flow and give in to the manufactured panic by getting organised early. Great in theory but a disaster in real life because I still can’t find the presents I hid.

I’m not a total humbug. I like a mince pie and a cracker as much as the next woman. I just don’t want it to take over my world for weeks. Wouldn’t it be much nicer if not so much as a sprinkle of tinsel or recording of Slade is allowed, by law, until December 1?  We could still have parties, presents, family fun and inappropriate drunkenness, but only for a few days.

So, please, tell Santa to push off back to Lapland until I’m ready for him.


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    Ready for Ten admin

    12 September, 2011

    I'm with you Ellen - I don't need supermarkets and the likes to remind me that Christmas is "nearly" upon us in September, and I certainly don't need them reminding my children! I like to keep Christmas as low key as possible on the consumer front, and I actually do 95% of my gift shopping online, because I can't stand all the fuss in the shops. When it gets to December I'm full of the festive spirit - but not a minute before :-)

    Leigh "bah humbug"
    Ready for Ten Team

  • Linda


    Linda Jones, Editor

    13 September, 2011

    I'm also 100 per cent in agreement - thank you Ellen for saying what I was thinking, so eloquently!

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    Kim N

    13 September, 2011

    I was in a store at the weekend and they were taking off their summer and home and garden products and replacing them with all their Christmas goods. I suppose the up-side is that you can grab a bargain at the moment. Too early for me though, sorry Santa - no offence, but I really don't want to see you for a good while yet and I certainly don't want to hear any Christmas songs on the radio until the very earliest date of 1st December.

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