Taking a stroll around the streets and shops of this fine town the other lunchtime, I found myself idly perusing the wares on offer in one of Doncaster’s bargain stores.
The boutique in question shall remain nameless, but as I rounded the shelves, I came across a couple of staff members frantically shovelling the summer goods into boxes and throwing the likes of baubles, tinsel and other festive decorations into its place.
Alongside was a much smaller range of Halloween stuff.
However, this particular emporium was not alone in its efforts to get our hands in our pockets in readiness for Decemeber 25. Over the last few days, I’ve noticed Christmas cards appearing, along with festive foodstuffs, all over the shop, as it were.
There’s even the odd pub or restaurant welcoming customers with a Christmas tree in the entrance, reminding them to book now for their turkey dinner or office party.
And back in July - JULY - there was a story doing the rounds about a Doncaster charity shop coming under fire for a Christmas window display.
The Save The Children shop on Silver Street was stacked high with Santa decorations, tinsel and wrapping paper and one eagle-eyed shopper who spotted the seasonal display on one of the hottest days of the year said: “A full display- incredible and ludicrous. Why bother taking the bl**dy decs down? Christmas starts in December. Where’s the magic?”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t dislike Christmas.
I’m a big fan of it. But there’s a time and place for it. And that time and place is not September.
It’s September. We’ve just packed the kids back off to school, its not even cold yet and the nights haven’t really started to draw in.
We’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night to come - and while we’re at it, there’s no need for shops to start stocking up on the pumpkin paraphenalia just yet either.
Yes, I get some people like to be prepared and I know there’s some folks who buy cards and wrapping paper in the January sale and then put them away for 12 months.
If I did that, I’d be searching the house mid-December frantically trying to remember where I’d put them.
I know full well these words will fall on deaf ears as retailers try desperately to get us to part with our pennies as early before Christmas Day as possible, but can we please at least get October and Bonfire Night out of the way before we start the headlong assault into Christmas?
What next? Easter eggs and Valentine’s Cards popping up in Tesco as soon as the Queen has finished her traditional speech and the last of the crackers have been pulled?
The month of December is busy and stressful enough trying to remember everything and hitting the shops on a daily basis - we don’t need that stress stretching even further into the year and rammed down our throats even sooner.