There are Christmas cards in the shops. We are a quarter of a year away from Christmas, with Halloween, bonfire night, Remembrance Sunday and many religious festivals from the faiths represented in the UK today taking place in the next three months, any and all of which could be an opportunity for shops, supermarkets and stores to market goods, either for a profit or for a charitable cause, or both. But there are, already, Christmas cards, gifts, wrapping paper, puddings, mince pies etc. etc. etc. filling the shelves of several local supermarkets.
Now I’m not suggesting or a minute that I agree with a supermarket cashing in, for example, on Remembrance Sunday, by doing something like selling poppies in competition with the Poppy Appeal. But it makes me wonder, if a store did such a thing, especially if they did it in mid August, what sort of outcry would there be? Yet we have a whole quarter of a year before Christmas and no one raises more than an eyebrow and a tut or mutter under the breath when it comes to cashing in on what is, after all, a religious festival.
A quarter of a year. Three whole months. Thirteen weeks. That’s a pretty long time to leave a Christmas pudding or a pack of shop-bought mince pies on a shelf gathering dust. Would you buy a pack of apple pies, or doughnuts, or muffins, or any other bakery produce for that matter, from your local store in April and not plan on eating them until your July holiday? No, me neither. Yet from the way Christmas products are being marketed, right now, it seems that such actions are exactly what they are intending us to do.
A quarter of a year. That’s an entire season. Summer has only just ended and even here on the west coast of Scotland leaves are only just on the turn, many trees are still cloaked primarily in green, the garden is full of flowers and we still have summer vegetables to pick. Yes, there is a slight autumnal chill in the air and a heavy dew on the grass, and even a touch of ground frost this morning, but it is by no means wintery, not yet, not by a long shot.
And yet we have Christmas cards on the shelves in the shops. Already. What will they think of next, selling summer holidays in January and ‘back to school’ gear in June? Oh, hang on…….