|Oxford - 19th December a few years ago.|
So when does Christmas start?
The retailers seem to think it’s shortly after the August Bank Holiday. In any case, the shops and streets are dripping with Festival Cheer™ from far too early, and I have serious doubts about the ability of even the most heavily genetically-modified pine tree to retain its needles from 1st of December until the 25th.
I know (my other half has told me) that throughout December it’s really Advent, which is why we have those calendars with 24 little fragments of chocolate, and that Christmas really starts on the 25th. And I do thoroughly approve of the Danish tradition of putting up the Christmas tree on the 24th and celebrating from then.
However, the reality is that in the UK if you try and wait until the 24th to do the Christmas stuff, there won’t be a tree, mince pie or Brussels sprout to be found anywhere. So my suggestion is that we adopt another Scandinavian model - the Icelandic one – and salute the arrival of the Yule Lads as our Heralds of Christmas. They start to turn up on 12th December, which seems like a decent compromise.
Until then you can take your Christmas cards and Festive Cheer™ - and stick them up a chimney somewhere.
Humbug. But only until the 12th when I'll be happy to welcome Stekkjarstaur and his pals.