It’s barely 8.30 a.m. and already I’m hearing The Darkness’ Christmas song for the second time.
Sleighbells are rattling, choirs are soaring to the skies and the song is wrapped in tinsel.
But, of course, it’s December 1 which is now the official start of the festive season. Silly me, I still think of that old-fashioned notion of the twelve days of Christmas ...
I blame the commercial radio DJs who seem to stir-fry their brain cells on November 30, and come into work the next morning yelling ‘‘IT’S CHRISTMASSSSSS’’ while wearing their novelty elf jumpers and carrying their box set of ‘Now That’s What I Call The Same Festive Tunes The Boss Told Me To Play Last Year.’’
They’re more hyper than a bairn on Christmas Eve as they fire up Slade and Shaky on endless repeat; the same dozen songs on the same myopic playlist churned out on a loop.
In Smashy & Nicey FM land - scary place, all primary colours and too many E numbers – no-one can hear your scream. That’s because they’re all singing along with Noddy bleedin’ Holder. The urge to stick cocktail sticks in their eyes is truly overwhelming.
And I blame retailers too.
If they could get away with it, they’d have their decorations up in October.
You can see the gap between Hallowe’en and Christmas thinning out by the year, even although there is absolutely nothing festive about staring at a selection box in mid-November. The only thought running through your head is ’’oh jeez, it’ll soon be Christmas.’’
A friend of mine nailed it the other week when he said ‘‘y’know – I really like Christmas, but I can’t stand the run-up to it.’’
I think he spoke for many.
Just as Black Friday is a cynical marketing initiative to get you to buy stuff you don’t really need or want, so a month-long festive season is bogus. It’s hollow in the middle.
You can festoon your winter wonderland with as many baubles as you like – if it’s still November then it simply lacks the feeling of Christmas because it’s about as fake as the ‘snow’ your wind machines churn out.
And there is nothing more desperate than forced jollity.
I suspect we go along with it partly because we have no choice, but also because deep down we know we WILL get into the spirit once the 25th gets closer.
Before then, the real world has a habit of kicking in the door to Santa’s grotto – school, work, paying bills, sorting out bits around the house. Excuse us if we don’t do all of that while wearing antlers that flash on and off and a novelty tie that goes ‘‘Ho! Ho! Ho! every time you squeeze it.
We talk about the magic of Christmas and then do our utmost to bludgeon it by elongating it to the best part of six weeks. Little wonder some folk have their tree down and their decorations packed away before the bells. They’ve had enough.
And none of that makes you a humbug either. That jibe is as cheap as some of the rubbish on the shelves.
If you want to make Christmas special – really special – then you can, and there’s plenty time left to do just that.