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Not just 12 days of Christmas

I first start to notice it out the corner of my eye. It's the small things at first and I ignore them. I tell myself, 'not yet', 'too soon', 'don't think about it'. But before long the small things are turning into full on festive displays and it is all too obvious that there is no escaping Christmas and it's still only November.

So thoughts of being better organised 'this year' come into my head and I actually start to think about the gift list and finding time to get that shopping done. I quickly shelve those thoughts and in my time poor world I add to my own woes and stick my head in the sand rather than actually be better organised.

I know that time will march on and friends and colleagues will start to discuss the perfect gift for a loved one, what the little ones want, when they plan to decorate the house and the perfect Christmas jumper to wear on Save the Children's fundraiser day and I'll be thinking 'bah humbug'.

It is not that I don't like Christmas because I do but I like it in December. I love to hang the decorations and torture my family by tunelessly singing Christmas carols and songs that I don't actually know the words to. I look forward to giving gifts and most of all I love to spend time with my family and friends. As a family we've built on inherited traditions, added in new ones and we are happy with our lot. In a world affected by budgetary constraints and busy life styles I am sure I am not the only person who finds the extended build up to Christmas a chore.

But is it a new phenomenon?

Surprisingly, it doesn't seem so. An article by Laurence Dodds for the Telegraph points out that 'Christmas creep' has been an issue since before the First World War.

For example, on September 25, 1968, a Florida newspaper observed that Christmas had moved from 'the day after Thanksgiving (23rd of November this year for us in the UK) to the day after Halloween, to shortly after Labour Day (the 4th of September in the US). A decade earlier, in 1954, the Associated Press reported that British shoppers were lamenting the early Yule. Even seemed to be a topic of conversation as far back as 1901 as the Philadelphia Inquirer complained that "gift buying has begun in earnest – seems to get earlier every year".

So, do time poor consumers really need this much of a run up to the festive season or is it more to do with profit hungry retailers looking to cash in on our desire to get a good deal?

Take a moment to ask yourself, are you one of those who can't wait to tick items off the Christmas list? Or maybe you're one of the thousands who join the stampeding crowds on Black Friday? Alternatively, do you, like me, cringe at the sight of Santa and his elves ho ho ho-ing their way into our lives with Rudolph's nose streaking a path towards retail overload?

Simply put, for you, does Christmas come too early or not soon enough?