OK, you got me. I didn’t blog last Sunday. No excuses, just sheer laziness on my part. Anyway, I am sure it wasn’t too much of a dissapointment for you, my kind and understanding readers. I should also say that next week is probably going to be a Monday Blah, since I’m going to Scotland for the weekend and they probably don’t have internet out there (I jest, I jest. I’m just not dragging my laptop along.) Now, let’s get onto the actual post.
A few months ago I wrote about my adventures in Amsterdam where Dutch people were going completely cray with the orange outfits and excess day time boozing for ‘koninginnedag’ or Queen’s Day. I have observed a similar holiday craziness but in a slightly different form here in good old England. Instead of going all out on one day it feels like there is a steady crescendo into Christmas madness that started in September. Yes, September.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a ‘3 for 2’ offer on Christmas gifts in Boots in September when I’d just moved to England (I’m sure that in Belgium, people in retail were only just packing up the ‘back to school’ promotions at that point) and ever since it seems like there has always been a whiff of Christmas in the air. For example: I was eavesdropping on some people who had just done all their Christmas shopping and were ‘relieved they had gotten it done in time’. This was on the 23rd of October.
The Christmas season seems to be a crucial period for most retailers, so that is probably why they want to stretch it out as long as possible. I did a little research into when exactly businesses think it’s appropriate to get festive. Luxurious department store Liberty in London opens up it’s Christmas shop with festive decorations and gift wrap in September. You know, in case you get a sudden urge to wrap Christmas presents on the 12th of September. Competitor Harvey Nichols only starts selling Christmas related goodies by the end of October. This doesn’t mean that Christmas is any less important to the team of Ab Fab’s Patsy and Eddy’s favourite place to shop; the Harvey Nichols marketing department starts planning out the Christmas period no less than a year in advance.
I probably shouldn’t make fun of this Christmas hysteria, seeing as it is the sole reason for the existence of my job as a Christmas temp. And I’m not the only temporary minion making your Christmas shopping experience more sparkly than ever, Amazon for example takes on over 15,000 extra employees over the Christmas period to deal with your festive orders and John Lewis is taking on 2,000 Christmas temps this year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Grinch, I do like Christmas (I mean presents and an overload of food are a winning combination), and as today is the first of December, maybe I’ll allow myself to get a little excited over it.