CHRISTMAS trees have started popping up at malls and shopping quarters across Leeds, with sightings in the city centre and Morley reported by YEP readers.
But with Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations only just behind us, does the sight of a Christmas tree on November 6 warm your heart – or is it an irritating reminder of the over-commercialisation of the season which leads to the early rush for shops to get the baubles up?
The YEP’s student reporters Kerre Chen and Alistair Ryder asked people in Leeds city square – traditional home of the city’s biggest Christmas tree – their views.
Charlotte from Leeds: “It spoils it putting it up too early. You’ve got Halloween and then Bonfire Night and then you have a little gap and then you have Christmas decorations and everything.
“December 1 should be when you put them up, not before, because otherwise it’s just one big bowl of commercialism and you get jaded. Definitely, it isn’t that magical time any more.”
Kathy and Tom from Leeds: “Halloween has just happened, there are Christmas decorations before Halloween has even come about!”
Sarah from Bradford: “It’s nice, it looks festive and people want to get into the spirit of Christmas. But it is just about money, money, money. The amount of gifts that you have to buy for it, it’s a very expensive time of year.”
Sophie from Newcastle: “You get a bit too overexcited at the beginning and then by the time Christmas comes you’re bored of the whole situation, sick of the whole thing.
“I think it’s been like that [Christmas trees going up too early] for the past couple of years anyway.
“It used to be about celebrating time with your family and now it’s about the glitz and glamour and the shopping aspects of it, buying so many presents.
“I know myself I’ll buy presents for £30-£40 more than I spent last year. I bought my sister a laptop for £400 because it’s a pressure that you want to make them happy and spend lots of money, rather than just spend time with your family.”
Jane from Leeds: “It tends to centre on buying things. For me there is more of a meaning to Christmas than just buying lots of presents, it just gets a bit boring after a bit.
“I like the lights going up, I think the lights on the streets are nice but just walking into shops in the beginning of October and seeing Christmas trees, which is what I have seen!
“I lived in Holland for a while where December 5 is their Christmas, which is much more downplayed anyway, and certainly the contrast between the Christmas there and the Christmas here is enormous.”
Felicity from Leeds: “November is too early really. In general, yes, I do think it is too early. In my lifetime it has always been commercialised, but people still understand in general the purpose behind it. It’s still making people aware of Christianity, so it’s still okay.”