Is Christmas too early?

20121130-085230.jpgI know we say it every year, but does Christmas come too early? It’s almost a race each year to see which retailer will be the first to advertise. September is often when the first signs of Christmas appears on the shelves with retailers such as M&S. Yes, we love the glitter and sparkle of Christmas, but please, can we at least wait until the witches and ghosts of Halloween have gone.

We were lucky enough to spend a few days in New York just after Hurricane Sandy hit, and Christmas was barely visible in the shop windows. Most were just removing their Halloween displays to make way for some festive displays, and that was the first weekend of November. Yet back here in Northern Ireland, some shops had their sparkles and glitter out from late September.

We looked at a recent poll by YouGov and we aren’t surprised to notice that a staggering 70% of people from Northern Ireland say that the build up to Christmas came too early this year, but, not surprisingly, just as many, 73%, are looking forward to tucking into roast Turkey at Christmas.

Over 1,000 people aged 18 to 64 in the province, found that seven in ten respondents thought that ‘signs of Christmas’ such as shops starting to stock Christmas items, Christmas-themed advertising, lights and decorations have made too early an appearance this year with only 21% saying Christmas has come at about the right time.

Aside from the early appearance of Christmas, there are the cost implications. Are the days of big extravagant gifts over in the new retail climate. It’s easy to see on the High Street that people aren’t spending as much, because retailers are going into sales earlier than ever to try and tempt us to spend spend spend. Look at House of Fraser with a 40% off sale, Debenhams with an almost constant sale, and even M&S are getting in on the sale action.

How are we spending our money anyway? Well the YouGov survey says that cash is how we’ll pay. The top three ways were 76% with cash, 31% with a credit card and 29% with savings and a brave 11% of those questioned said they would use their overdraft facility.

The poll also looked at ways people who plan to spend money this Christmas could reduce their Christmas expenditure; 48% said by buying less expensive gifts and cards, 42% said they would buy fewer gifts and cards and 34% said they would use loyalty card points for Christmas spending.

Christmas would not be the same without a festive lunch so, with 73% looking forward to eating roast Turkey, pollsters were asked what else they were looking forward to tucking into this holiday season.

41% of adults said sausages wrapped in bacon, whilst Brussels sprouts received 39% of votes with mince pies (38%), Christmas pudding (32%), and cranberry sauce (31%) also featuring high in the count.

However, 63% of people are hoping for a little Christmas magic by expecting to remain roughly the same weight with 26% expecting to gain and a hopeful 6% saying they would lose weight.

All the same, we love the build up to Christmas, with all the lights, music and events happening, but next year, can we enjoy Halloween first, before we start to get all festive?

Post Author: Belfast Times