About this time last year - it may have been earlier - I expoused my views that Christmas should wait until, well, Christmas.
This year I am trying to be less of a Scrooge and more of a Santa’s little helper (yes, even in early November) but my sparkly good sport mettle is being sorely tested.
Driven by my expensive, illogical, terribly fashionable, caffeine addiction to a well-known coffee destination after a plethora of challenging newspaper deadlines, on entering the premises I noticed there was a certain festivity in the air.
Putting my best Christmas fairy smile on, I grinned and bore it until I reached the counter where I managed to avert my cynical eyes from the Americanised festive flavourings and cakes on offer and put in my usual, distinctly overpriced all-year-round order.
Did I want to pay extra for the festive blend? No, frankly I did not. I’m sure it’s nice but I could feel my bile rising nicely. Escaped from the till, I waited for my beverage politely until my greater senses became aware of the music assaulting my ears.
Christmas carols. On registering ‘O Come all ye faithful,’ my suppressed Grinch-ish thoughts must have reached my eyes because the busy barista rolled her eyes back at me in the manner of a long-suffering parent hearing a rendition of ‘Let it go’ from Frozen for the seven millionth time.
I felt for her. Until she handed me my usual takeaway brew in a cup adorned with red and green that ended my enforced twinkliness all at once.
I opened my mouth, unable to keep my inner Bah Humbug silent any longer, only to be pre-empted by the now grimacing barista. ‘I know,’ she said as I swore silently. ‘Too early.’ She sent me on my way with caffeine to soothe my soul and fully convinced I was not the only naughty child whose stocking would be bereft of gifts when Christmas finally does arrive.