There was a business news story a couple of days ago in response to the plummeting share market and talk of recession: get your Christmas stuff into your shops now! While people are still buying. And with longer to purchase… I thought it was a further cynical cheapening and abuse of one of the most sacred Christian festivals. What other world religion do people so cheerfully turn into a consumer event? And not merely consumerise the festival. But actually move the festival – forward by more than a sixth of the year?

But a walk in town confirms it. Barring the (non liturgical) Christmas ditties piped through the omnipresent speakers you can get all your Christmas things now. Do not pass All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), do not collect Advent Sundays or light your way around the Advent wreath – go straight to Christmas.

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