It's November, so I shouldn't be surprised to see Christmas encroaching everywhere on the High Street. Disappointed maybe, but not surprised. There are glittery dangly decorations all over BHS, and have been for weeks. Argos started its TV advertising campaign last month, just to give us plenty of time to save up for a cordless drill and matching screwdriver set. And Santa has arrived in Harrods, especially for all the Arabs celebrating Christmas this year.
However, Tesco appear to be overdoing their in-store promotion of Christmas somewhat. Little messages are appearing all over the store, attached to the shelves, to remind customers of items they might like to stock up on for the festive season. These three messages particularly worried me:
• Recycle your Christmas cards here: I don't know anyone who's even bought a Christmas card yet, let alone written one, let alone sent one, let alone received one, let alone opened one, let alone stuck it on the window sill for three weeks, let alone thought about throwing it away in an environmentally friendly manner. On closer inspection, this special recycling offer starts at Tesco on January 6th. The advertising's just a couple of months premature, then.
• Cereal for Christmas morning: That'll be just in case you don't have a box of cereal in your kitchen anyway, presumably. Maybe Tesco are hoping we'll suddenly want to snap up a festive packet of Pinecone Flakes, Ice Krispies or PermaFrosties. Of course, if should you be planning on spending Christmas morning with any small children, trust me, cereal is the very last thing on their mind at 5am. Spend the cereal money on a couple of extra rolls of wrapping paper instead.
• Save a mince pie for Santa: Children love to leave food out on Christmas Eve, just in case a hungry old man should wander into their bedroom in the middle of the night. However, saving a Tesco mince pie until Christmas Eve may not be a particularly good idea, given that all the mince pies available today had a sell-by-date of December 9th. It's lucky that Santa doesn't exist, otherwise he might end up dead from food poisoning in seven weeks time.