No cheating, please.
Search all the corners of your brain to work out what could possibly connect a Welsh newspaper, a toy store and a family from Liverpool.
Still coming up short? Well here’s a clue: it’s the middle of September.
To give you a further clue, think about what will most likely be making the headlines this month and what will be making people pull out their hair by the middle of next month.
Time’s up . . . pause for dramatic affect . . . slowly open envelope and, drum roll please . . . it’s Chriiiiiiistmas!
That’s right, flipping Christmas.
In the past few weeks the Daily Post ran an online story advising people on where Christmas markets will be this year (it’s September), Toys R Us has been advertising its ‘pre-Christmas’ sale (it’s September) and – most unbelievably of all – the Lytollis family already have their Christmas tree up (for the third time, it’s September).
I’d love to let out a huge scream and lock up Santa in a cage, but I’ll try to somehow work through this monstrosity with logical solutions.
First things first – The Daily Post needs to be served with a wind up notice; Toys R Us banned from selling toys for a year (you can’t permanently close Toys R Us because it sells good LEGO); and the Lytollis family need to be sent on a holiday.
It should be a criminal offence to even mention the C-word in the month of September, so the swifter action taken against perpetrators the better.
The way police like to operate at the moment is to focus more on prevention than reaction.
So, with swift action taken on the September Christmas Crisis (SCC if you like, everyone loves a good abbreviation), we can move on to look at why on God’s green Earth these offences happen.
Worse than that actually, every year these Christmas crimes seem to be becoming more and more blatant and happening earlier and earlier.
Soon enough the Boxing Day sales will be advertised in November. And the Black Friday adverts are imminent; if there was ever a need for a cyanide capsule, that would be the day.
But how has the SCC been allowed to get so catastrophically out of control?
The Daily Post is an easy one to deduce – they’re after clickbait for their website.
The Lytollis family has an easily diagnosable cause too – they simply don’t get out enough. Fresh air really is a wonderful thing.
However, it’s Toys R Us that is the deeply troubling one. See, the company is purely driven by the people who buy its products – us. That means if they’re beginning to push the Christmas products in September, we must want Santa, his sleigh and all things jingly to really come that early.
Sarky comments aside, there probably is a lot of truth in that.
The thing about Christmas is that we all love it, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year (Scrooges, try not to mutter under you breath too much).
It’s one of the few things in life that brings almost universal pleasure. And let’s face it, in the depressing times we’re faced with (think Brexit, terror attacks and the possibility of nuclear war), something to cheer us all up wouldn’t go amiss. Christmas makes us happy and we all need cheering up; it’s a win-win to start the build-up months early, right?
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year at that specific time of year – December.
If we keep pushing that further and further forward we are in danger of losing what is magical about Christmas.
If we have months and months of shopping, shiny lights, and trees, how are we still going to be able to get excited about the festive period when it actually comes round?
These ridiculously premature online articles about festive markets and families putting up trees four months early may seem harmless but these are genuinely the first steps on the road to having Christmas ruined for good.
Starbucks has already put its spiced gingerbread latte on the menu and Christmas cards are beginning to line the shelves of Clintons. People, this is not OK. And while my prophecy may sound like a plot from one of those awful Christmas films you get for a quid from Poundland, this is the direction we are headed in.
Just like a character in one of those terrible films, it really is up to us to save Christmas – and hopefully it should be relatively straight forward.
We need to not talk about, or read about Christmas until at least mid-way through November. If you overhear people talking about it, or see any stories on the topic, politely remind people they are ruining Christmas.
If it’s worse than that and you catch people putting Christmas trees up before December 1 then please inform the authorities.
Together we can save the festive season, just so long as you don’t actually read this column until December because it’s about, you know, Christmas.