December has arrived more welcome than ever in this house.
Not because it’s a sign my Christmas shopping is done or that I’m recapturing my childhood but because I can finally hear Christmas music on the radio without my teeth grinding.
The convention that radio stations back off with the Christmas playlist until the second week in December; to where did that crawl away to die this year? One day last month saw me stuck in traffic tailbacks from the M62 with Christmas still six weeks off, my personal hell completed by Yorkshire local radio churning out festive numbers as if Santa Claus was already loading the sleigh.
We all know why shops would start Christmas in July if they thought they could get away with it but what excuse do the rest of us have: commercial radio or those people whose Christmas tree goes up even when the scent of stale fireworks still hangs on the autumn air? Is this mere eccentricity or does it hint at something deeper and darker? At lives so shallow that every excuse for glee must be lunged for at the earliest possible moment, like drowning men grasping at driftwood?
I sometimes wonder if this is why Halloween has burgeoned into something much more than the bit of fun for the kids that it once was, or why Brits are latching onto the baby shower concept with increasing gusto. One more excuse for a bottle of wine and the chance to forget.
I believe this writer has it right. Much more of this seasonal gatecrashing and there are going to be many people who reach December 24th already sick of the sight of Christmas. And what an indictment on us all that would be.