This year the Christmas shopping season started on 31st August. A Co-operative Supermarket in Great Baddow, just outside Chelmsford, started displaying chocolate Father Christmases and a chocolate snowmen. The weather had turned a little chilly last Friday, but even the mainstream media were still calling it summer (just about – autumn apparently now starts on 1st September, the equinox is no longer cool). Naturally we took a photo, and then forgot about it.
Today, 6th September 2012, in the same Co-op supermarket a full Christmas display unit was filled with festive mince pies. There were still 109 days to go until Christmas Day.
OK, retailers have had a bad year. First we had too much snow forcing shoppers to stay at home. Then we had too much rain. Then for 3 days it was too hot. And now the we are deep into autumn, in fact, it is probably almost winter now. So to strike up some extra business shops are now pulling out their Ace cards early (or are they Jokers?) and kicking off the Christmas season a little early.
There was a time when Christmas shopping started at the beginning of December. In the days when everyone worked hard and had less time to shop, the festive season was shorter. Then, many years ago now, some shops decided to kick off the festive season as soon as Hallowe’en was over, so the first day of November became the new Christmas period (still Autumn!).
Now that we have more free time and Internet shopping, the Christmas season has been extended. It is completely illogical, until you remember that many shoppers fall for it every year and start spending more.
But, mince pies in September? Chocolate Santas and snowmen at the end of August? Is this taking things a little too far?
But then, this does raise one final question – why do we only have mince pies at Christmas time? And why can’t we have chocolate Easter bunnies all year round too?