Yes, there is a credit crunch on, a term that always makes me think of Kit-Kats (mmmm... Kit-Kats...), and I appreciate that people find it easier to start shopping for the festive season in October, thus spreading the financial load over two or three months. However, shouldn't we be crediting the great buying public with some intelligence? The Mighty Bookstore Chain I used to work for had a phase-by-phase military-style operation that would roll out in September. Phase 1 was called "Early Gifting", a phrase that actually makes me physically ill. CDs of Christmas music were played from the start of November, and by the time the doors shut on Christmas Eve, you were ready to commit homicide if you heard "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" again. Seasoned booksellers could be reduced to a twitching wreck by the repeated whispering of "Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum....".
Christmas happens at the same time every year, and I defy you to prove otherwise (Leap Years don't count). People are unlikely to be taken aback on December the 23rd; although some of us are surprised by our own lack of preparation, it's not as if we didn't know it was going to happen. Everybody knows money is tight, and will be planning their spending accordingly. So why insult everybody by reminding them, in late September even, that they may need to start buying presents? Share the love! Stop the madness! I recommend a ban on all mention of Christmas until the second week in December. Starting, obviously, from 5 minutes after I publish this post.