Why it’s not too early to start planning for Christmas now

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making Christmas plans now, for what is widely considered to be the most wonderful time of year
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Bill Nighy crooning Christmas Is All Around, in Love Actually, is not a memory I thought would come bubbling up in August.

Yet everywhere I look, Christmas really is all around.

My local Asda is now stocking frozen pigs in blankets.

Home Bargains is selling Christmas decorations, much to the dismay of customers, one who has branded the move as ‘depressing’.

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People are joining waitlists now, for advent calendars by luxury brands including Fortnum & Mason, Harrods and Liberty.

Restaurants have published Christmas menus and are actively encouraging patrons to get booked in.

Christmas is exactly 116 days away.

This hasn’t stopped stores from getting into the festive spirit and stocking Christmas goods at the peak of summer, incurring, along the way, the wrath of some members of the public who feel it is ‘weird’ and ‘too soon’.

I was one of those eye-ball rollers, lamenting Christmas being mentioned prematurely.

But then I thought, is it really terrible to be organised?

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What is so bad about starting your Christmas shopping early, so as not to feel overwhelmed when the 25th of the final month of the year starts looming onto the horizon?

Little caveat, I love Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year where one can hunker down, warm in the glow of fairy lights adorning the Christmas tree and scarf Lindt chocolates at any time of the day.

I’d put my Christmas tree up in October if I could, because I think we all need something beautiful to brighten up the dark, chilly, rain-battered evenings.

You hear stories about people keeping up their Christmas tree all year round.

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Yes I think that is a little strange, but a part of me can’t help but feel a little awe.

Imagine, having a tough day, then glancing towards the corner where your tree is, decked out in festive fairy lights… wouldn’t your spirits automatically be lifted, soaring sky high?

I think people’s opinions towards Christmas may vary dependent on if they are a business or consumer.

Businesses such as restaurants need to forward plan and think ahead months in advance, for what is widely considered to be the busiest time of year.

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Consumers meanwhile may feel disillusioned by some companies taking a commercially driven decision to stock Christmas goods earlier in the year.

Martin Roper, owner of Derby’s award winning pub Exeter Arms has had Christmas menus available since early August.

He said: “It’s always advisable to book your Christmas celebration at your favourite venue as soon as possible.

“Too many businesses, groups and families leave it too late and are then forced to go for their third or fourth choice.

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“Our establishments have very limited capacity so we have been encouraging guests to book.”

I canvassed opinion garnering a mixed response, using a highly scientific method of asking people on Facebook.

Emma Gamlin said: “I’m not exactly planning yet, but I have started picking up a few presents for the kids to spread the cost.”

John S. Geary said: “I like to do my gift shopping in August and September, that way I can relax during the actual Christmas season.”

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