On the 3rd August the Daily Mail reported on Selfridges ‘Those on a last-minute trip to grab some sun-cream yesterday were shocked to find Santa’s grotto on arrival at the Oxford Street store, with children dressed in their summer clothes encouraged to visit Father Christmas.’ Harrods followed not long afterward and apparently Selfridges have said that they can foresee a time when they will be selling Christmas items all year round. Heaven forfend.
When we first moved to France 5 years ago I was delighted that they didn’t anticipate Christmas until the beginning of December. The fact that they then forget to take the decorations down until around May we will gloss over. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, some of the chain stores have succumbed to whatever pressure it is – can it really be the public? – to introduce tinselly, shiny, glittery items to their shelves in October. It’s the thin end of the wedge. However, I can report that, up until last year, it was possible to shop for food right up until Christmas Eve without having to plan it like some sort of military operation and without having to stand in queues so long that, in the U.K., they had to employ people specifically to hand out conciliatory chocolates to the desperate.
Having said all that, I have started to see the first glimpses of festive products on Etsy and, what’s worse, I have bought some of them. I have bought supplies with which to make my own Christmas goodies this year, some for us and some for the shop and have been thinking of ideas for things to make. It’s weird having to root through the decorations that were packed away only 7 months ago so that you can stage a photo shoot for a festive item. I imagine it must be like that for the staff in shops such as Selfridges – how they must detest all the Christmas records that come out every year – I think they must just train themselves to ignore them otherwise they would surely go mad. I remember last year being a bit fed up with it all by the time the actual day arrived so, this year, I shall try to remain a bit detached until at least the end of November – although I have made these………