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So there we all were again still in our shorts due to Indian Summer and unseasonably warm October whilst stores started filling up with Christmas gubbins.
No longer could I buy kids tights as the whole area had been relegated to the stockroom to make way for the ‘Christmas store’. Whilst the sun was shining outside and the air con still keeping us cool, we had to listen to Noddy Holder screeching about an event that could not have seemed further away from our minds.
Now I don’t mind Christmas. I would go so far as to say there are elements of it I enjoy but I have a massive issue with retailers FORCING me to think about it when I still want to enjoy the remnants of summer. Every year it seems to get earlier, and the panic starts to set in creating a frenzy of activity. Can we seriously believe the retailer folklore that Christmas puddings really ARE in danger of running out or that shoppers have been seen fighting in the aisles over the last box of stuffing? The issue is that we all want to be perfect and nothing else will do – cue cheesy Christmas ads portraying the ‘perfect’ Family Christmas that we all clamour to achieve. The pressure and stress that goes hand in hand with this is surely destroying the ‘specialness’ of the season as we all arrive at Christmas day frazzled and stressed out. Interesting to note that when Asda met this head on last year with their ad campaign highlighting exactly this issue, it was panned by critics…obviously we all want to continue to believe in the myth that Christmas just arrives in an effortless cloud of sparkly magic….
This year the Christmas fever has gripped my 12 year old too who has been busy posting pics of her Christmas countdown clock on Instagram, and has downloaded no less that 8 advent calendar apps to add a little more ‘joy’.
But eventually the pressure gets to even the most hardened Christmas humbug, and come Dec 1st I was there with the best of them soaking up the Christmas cheer. But I just can’t help feeling that retailers are missing the point – rather than spreading out our spend from September to December, why not hold off until December 1st and make it special – something to look forward to when all stores look and feel like Christmas and we have the weather and mindset to go with it. I would spend the same, I would just resent the perfection pressure less. Either that or make it all year round and totally destroy any magic that is left.