Much as I hate the forced jollity and rampant commercialisation of the ‘festive season,’ it is now officially December, so I can justify the use of the ‘C’ word. That’s why it’s in the headline.

I’m afraid to tell you I’m drastically late for the start of the season. Selfridges had its Christmas window displays up and running on October 21st. By my calculations, that’s 64 days, just over nine weeks, before the Big Bang. Halloween hadn’t been and gone, Guy Fawkes Night was a dot on the horizon, and Selfridges was ding-bloody-donging merrily on sodding high before the end of British Summer Time.

I don’t get the thinking here. There’s only so much money people are going to spend. If they spent it in October, they won’t spend it in December as well.

Some more heartening news from a retailer, in this case John Lewis. They’re offering a Home for Christmas service. For a mere 250 smackers a ‘tree stylist’ will come to your home to advise you about this year’s festive styles, and what type of tree and decorations will suit your pad the best.

Christmas decorations have fashion fads? Whoever would have thought it. It’s enriched my lifestyle no end to have found that out.

For another 200 notes, said stylist will select the perfect tree and accessories to compliment your pied a terre, have the stuff delivered, then put the tree up and decorate it for you.

This rather misses the point doesn’t it? When I was a nipper, my siblings and I rescued some extremely tatty decs from the dustbin after my mum had had a purge. One was a plaster of Paris snowman, and one was a Puss in Boots. My sister still has them and drags them out every year. They were old back in the fifties, so they’re ancient now.

Half the ‘fun’ of a tree is everybody mucking in and making a hash of things. Your tree stylist may do a slick job, but it won’t be your tree will it?

Yet another offensive front in the war to separate people with more money than sense from their lucre. The hipsters down Whitechapel are probably queuing up.