I paid a visit yesterday to that West End mecca of shopping, Selfridges. Whilst happily perusing various objects that I didn’t need but felt I should nevertheless buy, my eyes were accosted by a scene I’d hoped I wouldn’t witness for months to come: Christmas decorations. And not only that, they were being studiously examined by a large group of shoppers. People were actually discussing what Christmas decorations to buy in August!
I’m not anti-Christmas. Not in the least. I enjoy the few days of work, the traditions (e.g. eating and drinking too much, fighting over what to watch on tv and racing to return Christmas presents once the shops open again). I’m far from being any sort of Grinch. But please: it’s August. Yesterday, for a change here in London, the sun was shining. This made the appearance of Christmas crap even more offensive.
I appeal to the retailers of London, nay… I beg you. Hold off on selling any Christmas-related nonsense until at least the summer is over. If you’re at all decent human beings, you might wait until after Halloween. I for one find the displays of Santa Claus lying next to pumpkins and scary rubber masks quite bizarre.
You know in your heart of hearts that the average London shopper needs no encouragement to part with their hard-earned cash in the run-up to Christmas. On the contrary, they seem to run around the West End in December, handing over in as many shops as they can get into, recession or no recession. Their money wil be spent in your shops regardless of the amount of Christmas paraphenalia your drape around the place.
(Incidentally, I’m no angel in this regard and would never claim to be a parsimonious shopper. I went into town yesterday with an extremely brief shopping list. I needed new shoes for work. Something to replace the bland black pair that’s beginning to get sympathetic looks from colleagues and clients alike. When I returned home, I found I had bought: two pens and some post-it notes, an umbrella, two t-shirts and a pair of jeans, Green & Blacks chocolate and some magazines. But no shoes. Pathetic, I know).
So save yourselves some cash and delay the decorations until it’s a little closer to Christmas itself. In, you know, December? If you sell it, they will come. Decorations or no decorations.
Edit: seems I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. The BBC has a piece on it here.