You know Christmas is just around the corner when:
- You find yourself drawing the curtains against the windows to shut out the cold, rain hail, sleet, ridiculously early at 4.15pm
- Brussel sprouts, parsnips, tangerines, crisp red apples and satsumas come into season
- Stew and dumplings, sponge puddings and custard, home- made soup and hot chocolate suddenly become very appealing
- The TV guides publish a 'sneak preview' of Christmas programmes
- The fashion pages of women's magazines are filled with ideas of what to wear for the Christmas/New year party
- Trailers of 'Christmas specials' are shown on TV
- Silly, strange adverts I cannot understand (with silly strange music) appear on the TV for posh perfume
- Stores begin to place their free gift guides beside their exits and some have a '3 for the price of 2 gift offer' as well (Yipee!)
- Your local post office displays information about last posting dates
- Bakers start to sell mince pies and iced gingerbread snowmen
- Normal kitchen rolls appear in the supermarket with jolly Christmassy designs on them (And bread wrappers acquire pretty snowflakes too)
- Talking of which, it gets harder and harder to book a big Christmas shop Internet grocery slot:
- My hubby and I once waited over 2 hours for big Xmas shop on Xmas Eve evening, which we ordered online. There was no contact at all from the supermarket. We couldn't get through to the customer service line because everyone else was on the phone complaining to them as well!
- Everytime you go shopping, you hear Christmas pop songs belting out of the loudspeakers.
- Does this music really help us get into a cheery Christmas spirit? Call me a scrooge, but I just find it incredibly irritating – especially in October!
- And finally:
- There's debates galore - which is the most adorable TV ad?
Last year's favourite was the John Lewis ad and their 'little boy and penguins' – remember? This year's effort, with a 'Man in the moon' theme, somehow hasn't proved as popular
As I write this in November, the Sainsbury's Xmas ad, with its strong 'Christmas is for sharing' message (featuring Mog the cat) has gone viral on social media.
The run- up to the day itself, for me, is lots of fun
I love selecting and sending Christmas cards,decorating the tree, wrapping presents (Although I somehow end up getting into a terrible mess with the selleotape) and yes, I even find myself singing along those 1970's/1980's Xmas tunes!