Four weeks today will be Christmas Day. Yes, you read that right.
For some though, particularly retailers, Christmas can’t come early enough. You can understand why the decorations get wheeled out earlier than ever in shops; from a commercial standpoint it’s probably fair game.
Some householders will also have had their trees up for days by the time you read this, and again, if that’s what people want to do in the privacy of their own homes then who am I to play Scrooge?
For me, this week somehow feels a bit more appropriate for the Yuletide tide to start sweeping across the kingdom.
However, my plea to all Fife shops and businesses this week comes from the heart. It comes from experience, bitter painful experience, and is certainly not from the ‘Bah! Humbug!’ school of thought.
Please, please, spare a thought for workers who have to endure Christmas songs on repeat for hours on end. Change it a little, or dispense with it entirely.
I love Christmas and Santa is made particularly welcome on the 24th but having previously worked in retail at this time of year I now shudder at the first few bars of songs many people label as “festive”.
While the sound of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Little Drummer Boy might not affect the casual listener, and may even bring a smile to passing shoppers out for a browse, working in a store where Christmas hits are played on repeat is extremely wearing.
I can’t listen to Stop the Cavalry now. It’s a genuine affliction after hearing it at least 15 times a day while trying to serve customers.
Don’t take my word for it. Studies have also shown that playing Christmas songs too early and too frequently can also be harmful to people’s mental health, as hearing the same music day in day out increased stress levels.
So in the true spirit of Christmas and goodwill to all men and women, just remember that the festive season is a time for giving — particularly giving hard-working shop workers and office staff a break from what can only be described as a musical assault on the senses.