It's too early for carols and hollyANNA TURNER
Along with kittens, chocolate, sauv blanc and half-price handbags, Christmas definitely makes my list of favourite things.
I love that there is a whole day devoted to giving gifts, spending time with family, over-indulging in delicious food and falling asleep on the couch by 3pm.
But like all the things on my favourites list, Christmas should be enjoyed in moderation.
Last week, I was in dire need of a Halloween costume and headed down to a major chain store to pick something up. It was November 2, so I was a little late, but figured there would still be some fake fangs lying around.
Much to my distress, the shelves were empty. The only thing left was an 8-year-old boy's Spider-Man costume.
Instead, the halls were well and truly decked with holly.
There were Christmas trees, electronic reindeer, tinsel - even a surfboarding Santa.
It was like they'd chucked out all the Halloween stuff overnight and shipped in the next lot of commercialised holiday crap the following day.
I'm not trying to be a Grinch, but it's too early for Christmas.
I've only just recovered from Halloween.
(Which, as a side note, turned out to be highly disappointing. I bought a whole bunch of lollies on the off-chance some cute trick-or-treaters would come knocking at the door. However, the night came and went and none arrived. My suggestion to send EK out on the street to lure in some kids with the promise of lollies at our place was met with a raised eyebrow, so we sat in and scoffed the sweets ourselves instead.)
Anyway, back to Christmas. The earliest I want to see hints of Santa and sleighs is November 25 - a month out from the big day.
I discussed this with several people and they informed me some shops featured Christmas displays in October.
Ludicrous, I declared.
Won't the chocolate in the advent calendars begin to go off before anyone gets to open the first door? If Snoopy's Christmas begins playing in October, won't all shop assistants be driven clinically insane by the time the festive season hits?
Of course, every year there's the argument that Christmas is becoming far too commercialised.
I'm not personally religious - although I respect that the religious aspect of Christmas is important to many people - but for me Christmas is about spending time with family and appreciating everything you've got.
On the other hand, I'm also not completely averse to a bit of commercialism - come on, I did put half-price handbags in my list of favourite indulgences.
But even I think it's going too far.
Nothing turns the festive side of me off quicker than being accosted by singing Santas and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer in early November. It's just an attempt to get people to buy up big for a longer period of time.
I usually get an advent calendar and put up a tree in early December, but I try to avoid getting sucked into the Christmas retail madness.
There are much nicer ways to celebrate the Christmas season than spending big at a chain store. Give me some old-fashioned carols by candlelight, egg-nog by the tree and a sneaky kiss under the mistletoe any day.
Well, not any day ... any day from late November until December 25.
- © Fairfax NZ News