I refuse to discuss Christmas before December
It's a matter of principle - but, just to be clear; it's not a bah-humbug-we’re-only-just-over-Halloween sentiment. Oh no. I’m far more selfish than that. You see, I'm a November baby, so refuse point blank to let any other celebrations overshadow my birthday. Call me high maintenance, but Himself gets a lot of attention at the end of the year, not to mention another go in Spring. November is MY time.
So, the question is this: at what point is it reasonable to get Christmassy? Too early and you risk burn-out, sick of the sight of tinsel before a single ho has been ho-ed. Too late and you’re in a blind panic, reduced to buying Homer Simpson festive socks for your three year old niece.
To be honest, we all know the whole shebang is now little more than a gigantic spendathon; the time and money going into Christmas adverts an indication of just how much cash can be extracted from the general public. Supermarkets would have you believe that the perfect family moment of snowy Dickensian cheer is just around the corner....but only if you can acquire the perfect mince pie. Bombarded with these messages from mid-November, it’s easy to get carried away, and before you know it your house is stuffed with so much festive kitsch it looks like the deformed love child of Cath Kidston and Gisela Graham.
Of course, there are those who, in the name of 'being organised' have already completed their Christmas shopping by December 1st. One particular friend buys and wraps presents throughout the year, so that cometh the hour she has nothing whatsoever to do. I asked her how on earth she remembers what she’s bought, but of course she makes a neat list as she goes along, so she knows exactly what’s in each perfectly presented parcel. Weirdo.
Me, I've kinda started the shopping, in that I’ve made a list and bought a few things for the kids. Still, it's not exactly a stretch to picture myself on Christmas Eve, sitting in a pile of wrapping paper, hair stuck together with Sellotape, half-drowned in mulled wine.
A quick poll indicates that it’s within the bounds of acceptable to put up a tree during the first weekend of December. Besides, it’s such an effort to find and decorate a tree that quite frankly I want my money’s worth. So, up it went at the weekend, festooned in fairy lights. I even allowed the kids to put tinsel on my writing desk, which they are usually forbidden to touch.
With that, I guess Christmas has officially begun in my house.