The other night one of my facebook friends posted up a comment that there were already Christmas decorations up in Boots and how it was too early for any of that malarkey. We’re barely into November, for goodness sake.
Now usually I would be agreeing with such statements. For years I wouldn’t even dare play a single Christmas song before December 1st when I’d ceremoniously dig out my 7 inch copy of Fairytale of New York and give it a spin.
Even in more recent years I have been mildly disapproving whenever my wife has suggested watching the likes of The Polar Express and Elf too soon. She has never said words to the effect, but I am sure she is thinking ‘typical Christmas fascist’.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an extreme Christmas fascist. I just fear the idea of getting to, ooh, December 12th and being thoroughly sick of the sound of Slade or Shaky wishing you a merry Christmas. Or having a once great movie like Elf being spoilt because you’ve heard all the gags over and over on repeat.
But this year, for some reason, I feel different. When I saw that facebook status, I found myself repeating my wife’s mantra that once Bonfire Night was over and done with, it was time to start getting into the Christmas spirit.
It makes sense. Yes, there are certain things to enjoy about November, providing the good weather holds out. But let’s be honest, all it takes is for the intense cold to kick in and, regardless of what anyone says, you can’t help feeling that bit more down in the dumps.
Christmas is a good way to combat this. In recent years I’ve found that if you leave it too late to start thinking about it, it very soon passes you by and you find yourself in January unable to satisfy that urge to listen to a bit of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Last year I dozed off during Love Actually and didn’t get round to watching the end. Who wants to watch the end of Love Actually in February? Meanwhile I didn’t download Michael Buble’s Christmas single until 21st and must have listened to it about twice. Some might say that’s two times too many, but personally I can’t wait to get it out this year.
And so as I rode the train to London and saw the frost covering the Devonshire countryside, I made a decision. Christmas has begun. On went a few category 2 Christmas songs (the ones that don’t go too overboard with it like, say, Driving Home For Christmas) and I sat back and looked out at the festive-esque scenery and started making mental plans for the weeks ahead. Hot chocolate, satsumas, maybe the odd carol service and hunt round some Christmas markets – must look up when they all start. We’ll hit the charity shops soon for presents. And of course all the gearing up to get the kids in the mood: Christmas lists, festive kids TV, The Night Before Christmas book, etc. They love it.
Look, you can wallow in November if you wish, say humbug to the thought of putting up tinsel and putting up with endless Cliff Richard, but surely that’s the mindset of a miseryguts. Come on, the kids are only young once. Bring it on, I say.