Kate Livingstone: Keep Christmas for December

editorial image

I’ve come over all bah humbug this week! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas – but not at the beginning of October or even earlier in the year.

Why has there become such a rush to get us in the festive spirit? Don’t know about you but it just makes me feel all Scrooge-like.

There’s nothing I like more than the buzz of Christmas: twinkling fairy lights against a backdrop of frosty skies and perhaps even a scattering of snow on the ground.

But certainly don’t want to think about it while we are enjoying an Indian summer!

It’s the retailers I blame.

I know the shopkeepers will tell us that people want to spread the cost of Christmas and yes, I appreciate most of us only have three pay days before December 25. But do I really want to walk into a shop to buy a birthday card and have to hunt my way through a mass of Christmas greetings. Certainly not.

I had an old uncle who used to be a shop manager and he told me that years ago, they didn’t put up their festive displays and window decorations until the week before Christmas Day.

And only a few decades ago December 25 wasn’t even a public holiday in Scotland – but, of course, January 1 was.

So you can imagine my horror when I heard that Selfridges opened this year’s first Christmas shop in London’s Oxford Street ... on August 1.


It’s the parents with little ones that I feel sorry for. I know Emma was driven to distraction last year with her two going on about Christmas for weeks before it actually arrived. In fact, for weeks before they even started opening their advent calendars.

You can’t blame the children. All the festive hullabaloo is everywhere for so long that they can’t do anything but get hyper!

One of Emma’s friends admitted last December she took her little boy to see five different Santa’s in the run-up to the big day. Supermarket, garden centre, department store, the lot. How can you expect a child to be anything other than ultra-excited.

I’d like to start a campaign that we don’t get to mention Christmas until the middle of November. I don’t think that’s too big an ask.

Do you think I’d get many followers?

In that way we’d all be looking forward to spending some time with family and friends, the mince pies and perhaps even buying and wrapping pressies.

And for all those reading this on October 6, just so you know, there’s 79 sleeps till Santa’s visit!