It is now officially Christmas
I love Christmas but I hate how town centres start putting up their Christmas decorations earlier and earlier every year. This year Lancaster town centre put its lights up at the end of October - before Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. I wrote a sarcastic note to Lancaster County Council suggesting that they just save themselves the trouble and leave the lights up all year round. As I've reported previously, Marks and Spencer raised the height of all its shelves in October and have whole aisles devoted to mince pies and Christmas puddings. Sadly - people have been buying them. And I know that they're not just saving them up until Chrismtas - but they'll be getting home and eating all 6 mince pies in one go. People have been asking me if I have started my Christmas shopping yet for weeks now.
So I was very pleased last week at the Student Union shop on campus, when one of the staff their turned off the tape recorder that was blaring out Christmas music, consfiscated it and said to the other stunned shop assistants "You can have it back on December 1st". I wanted to applaud.
However, as tomorrow is December 1st, I can properly get into the spirit of things. I love putting up the Christmas tree. I remember about 10 years I went to a Christmas party in a well-heeled bit of Los Angeles. The host had the most gorgeous tree I'd ever seen and I was so impressed that I congratulated him on how nice it was "It must have taken you ages to put it up!" It was a bit odd really, because he wasn't really a very Christmassy sort of person.
It's only recently dawned on me that of course he didn't put the tree up - he'd just paid some firm to do it all for him and that's why it was so perfect. And I think that's about the most depressing thing I can think of. Either - put up the tree yourself and enjoy it, or don't bother. But if you have to pay someone to do it - then you're kind of missing the point.