The Bloke: It’s not really Christmas at all, is it?

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Oh dear lord, it’s Christmas again. Except it’s not really Christmas at all, is it?

As usual, though, no one seems to have told that to all those desperately trying to cash in on the festive season by cramming fake Yuletide spirit down our necks at every available opportunity.

The decorations are in all the shops, the adverts are on the telly and any day now the airwaves will be full of Slade, Wizzard and Cliff bloody Richard.

And all this while the smell of bonfires still lingers in the air. It’s absolutely (Christmas) crackers.

The other day the Missus mentioned that she wanted us to take the twins to see Santa and his reindeer at Stockeld Park, between Wetherby and Harrogate, which boasts a pretty exciting-sounding ‘Christmas Adventure’.

Firstly, I told her, he must at all times be referred to as Father Christmas, Santa Claus being an American abomination that I will not allow our children to be corrupted by. “And secondly, you said it was on November 10,” I added. “Clearly you mean December.”

But no, she was right. I even checked on the website. It was November 10. November the flipping tenth! Why, in the name of all things holy, was Father Christmas parading his reindeer a full month-and-a-half before Christmas?

And how was any parent expected to keep their youngsters relatively calm in the build-up to the big day if they had to spend six weeks explaining what Father Christmas was getting up to?

After all, if he’s taking Donner and Blitzen and co out before we’ve even reached the middle of November then clearly he’s got a lot on his plate. No doubt some sort of daily update will be required to keep young, inquisitive minds at bay.

I can’t help thinking though that quite a few mums and dads will be driven so mad by the constant questioning that it will all become too much and something will snap. And all because some people can’t let Christmas evolve naturally, they have to jump the gun and try and get in there first.

I realise all this may make me sound like a modern day Scrooge, but believe me, that’s not the case. I actually love Christmas and all it entails. Some of my most precious memories are bound up with JC’s birthday. And that’s exactly why I get so hacked off about all this premature celebration.

When I was young the build-up to Christmas was brilliant and I eagerly counted down the days until I could wake my parents at 4am and rip the wrapping paper off my presents – most of which, I seem to remember, tended to have some connection to the A-Team.

But that was when Christmas started in early December, as it ought to, not the second week of November.

Is it too much to ask for there to be some kind of law banning this early build-up, in the same kind of way as they stop people buying fireworks until a couple of weeks before Bonfire Night?

As things stand, I’m worried my kids won’t feel the same level of excitement I did because they will be worn down by the relentless grind of the warm-up to the festive season.

So no, I’m afraid we won’t be going to see ‘Santa and his reindeer’ this Saturday – even though I’ll no doubt be called a curmudgeon (and plenty of other things) for my trouble.


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