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21st November 2014

Christmas has come early this year: Ho Ho Ho or just No No No?

Beth Slatcher-Greenwood ponders whether the trend to extend the Christmas season ever more is spoiling its novelty

For me, now that Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone I’m starting to feel the festive cheer and I know I’m not alone. For many, the arrival of crisp chilly mornings signals one thing: that the Christmas period is coming ever closer. But with nearly two months to go, is it a bit too soon to be looking forward to Christmas specials, mince pies and watching elderly relatives slowly getting mortal off sherry?

As usual, the build up to the 25th has been in motion for some time now in the retail sector. Selfridges opened its Christmas floor (yes floor!) on the 4th August, during one of the hottest weeks that Britain had experienced in decades—a whopping one hundred and forty two shopping days before the event.

At the time many people were outraged. However the truth remains that Selfridges and other department stores wouldn’t open their festive sections a third of a year early if the business was not there to support it. Selfridges sold over 2000 Christmas baubles in the first week of its opening.

I’m personally undecided as to whether having these displays open for such long period adds to the festivities or actually tarnishes some of the novelty of the season. It’s certainly practical: you could have everyone’s gifts bought, wrapped and labelled before the university term even starts!

Overall though, I can’t help but think it doesn’t really matter when the lights are switched on in the city centre, or even when shops start to play thirty year old Christmas ‘classics’. You can get into the festive spirit whenever (if ever) you see fit—and if it’s any consolation, there are only twelve official days of Christmas.

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