A spot of Christmas shopping to round off the summer?

by Luke Gray

It’s not just the department stores that are hoping to cash in early on Christmas this year. Supermarkets introduced their Christmas stock as early as mid-September.

Bethan Davies, of Waitrose, said supermarkets introduce stock early because people want to spread the cost of Christmas over a few months.

She said: “People are starting to buy things early in order to stagger the cost of Christmas, which as we all know can be a very expensive time.”

While Waitrose refuses to become embroiled into a race to get its Christmas stock out first, some supermarkets have already begun to fill their shelves with festive goods. Tesco and Morrisons have already introduced their collection of Christmas puddings and mince pies, while the Co-Op launches its frozen party food on September 30.

Christmas is even threatening to overshadow Halloween, as Tesco confirmed Christmas goods will appear in stores before devil horns and Dracula masks. This comes despite the fact that interest in Halloween increases every year.

Heleana Greeves of Tesco said: “We will introduce our Halloween stock next week as more and more people seem to be interested in it.

“This year we’re going to include adult fancy dress outfits because it’s not just children who are interested in Halloween now.

“However, Christmas is still the big one for us at this time of year.”

However, the general public are becoming increasingly frustrated as Christmas preparations begin earlier each year. Although one-hit wonders Wizzard once proclaimed “I wish it could be Christmas every day”, surely what makes Christmas so special is that it is just restricted to one day. The premature build up to Christmas may eventually lead to an anti-climax and disillusionment with the whole festive period.

A radical group, The Movement for the Containment of Christmas, has gone to great lengths to air its frustrations over the Christmas build-up. The movement has targeted charity shops, threatening to superglue their letterboxes if they sell Christmas cards before November.

Although this is somewhat radical, it is synonymous with the general feeling that Christmas preparations begin too soon.

Mark Wilson, 26, will this year be swapping the start of the scorching Australian summer for three months of continuous Christmas hype, having just moved to Manchester from down under. He said: “I find all the advertising for Christmas really irritating, actually.

“I mean, it’s way too early – it’s not even November yet. I think Christmas shopping in November is acceptable but no earlier than that. I guess there’s nothing that can be done about it.”

Tom Rose, a 23-year-old from Manchester, said: “Advertising Christmas already is crazy; summer’s only just over.

“To be honest with you I’m more of a Christmas Eve present buyer so I don’t really fall for all the advertising campaigns.”

However, not everybody has the same negative perception of the festive period. Linda O’Neill admitted that she had already done a spot of Christmas shopping and sees nothing wrong with preparing early.

She said: “I have to admit that I’ve already bought my first present, for my nephew.

“I know it’s really early but I just saw and thought it’d be perfect for him.

“Christmas preparation is getting earlier every year but I don’t really see it as a problem to be honest.

“Although I would say no Christmas songs should be played until December!”

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