The goose isn't getting fat. It's not even on solids yet.

There I was, innocently perusing the aisles for delicious foodstuffs, when out of nowhere my eyes and mind were violently assaulted. Where there should have been lemon slices and choc chip bites, I saw the thing I feared most. It was deep filled. It consisted mostly of a horrible, sickly substance masquerading as pastry. It was far too early. It was only a bloomin’ mince pie. It couldn’t be could it? I checked the date on my watch, and as suspected it was mid September. My head tilted slowly upwards, hoping that it had been a mirage, that I was wrong. They were still there. Well, that’s that then, it’s bloody Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of Christmas. There are gifts, food, family, food, alcohol and food. It’s just that the bit of Christmas I prefer starts around December 20th, or at the very least, y’know, in Winter. Sadly, viewing those pies acted like some sort of demolition ball, smashing down my defences and now I could see it all around me. Festive chocolate selections, wrapping paper, even stockings. Christmas stockings in what is definitely still considered to be Summer. It’s not right. At last count there are three whole months before Santa needs to start loading up the sleigh, and if he doesn’t need to think about it now I’ll be damned if I do.

It’s not just the shops, though they’re the worst. I’ve started receiving emails telling me how many sleeps are left. At work. Now, I’m glad that some people are excited about the forthcoming celebrations, I really am, it’s nice that people look forward to a family centric time, but be excited quietly. If you must share, try to keep it to the people actively wishing their lives away, because some of us are quite happy where we are, thanks very much. It seems that you are unaware that big companies have created a premature buzz around what is essentially a few days of eating, arguing and watching repeats of Only Fools and Horses, just so you are more likely to buy more of their stuff. The extra eight weeks of Yuletide means they have time to make their product appear to be the must-have-must-give present, to convince you that you should part with your hard earned cash. Im not being cynical, cynicism only exists before it’s proven to be true. Most of the time, retrospective cynicism is referred to as being right. Yes it is. Faceless Corporations aren’t being cold, heartless or greedy, they’re just doing what they’re there to do. It’s simple economics, it makes sense and they’d be stupid not to capitalise on events. Which leaves you. It’s your fault. If you didn’t suck it up so eagerly they wouldn’t bother, if you didn’t keep falling for it there would be no point. If it didn’t work they wouldn’t do it. So thanks for that.

I propose that we all sit down and sort this out, but bring your own chairs because I don’t have that many, and we should probably do it at yours. Surely we can agree to start the utterly pointless build up a little bit closer to the day, maybe just after Halloween so that we can enjoy that first. Perhaps after Bonfire Night because that’s a thing too and it seems unfair to steal its thunder, or that’s what I think anyway. It’d take the pressure off, you’ve got to give me that. You could relax a bit, I mean, if you want you can still buy stuff you intend to gift at Christmas at any time of year, let’s just not all talk about it, yeah? You get on with the hoarding and I’ll go down the park, because I reckon we’ve got a couple of barbecue days left and I simply refuse to wear a scarf yet.

I will be called Grinch, I will be ignored, others will mutter about how sad it must be to be me. Well, that may be the case, but it’s not a relevant fact. Nobody has any money at the moment, that much is made clear by the increasing number of empty stores in town, so asking us all to spend the little we do have on horrible, mass produced, deep filled mince pies – while the outside swimming pool is still open – is a bit of a dick move. Happily forwarding this message through premature childlike wonder is also somewhat unpalatable, pretending it’s all Holly and Ivy now doesn’t ease the financial difficulties. It’s as if you think that if we don’t start welcoming it now, Christmas won’t come at all. It will. It’s coming whether we like it or not, even if there was no X Factor single, even if Cadbury didn’t churn out white, spherical mini eggs and call them Snowballs, even if radio stations across the nation didn’t play the same six sodding songs for ten solid, unbearable weeks.

Good. So we’re all agreed: Halloween, Bonfire Night and then and only then, Christmas. You know it makes sense. You’ll save your sanity, time and money and I won’t have to beat you to death with a Simpsons themed snow globe. It’s win win. And take your chair with you when you go, because even if we stack them carefully they’re not all gonna fit in here.

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