WELL, that was quite the week. What between elections and lockdowns and tier envy and all the other soul-sapping gubbins in between. I hope you are sitting down because I have a bombshell revelation: I’m thinking about putting the Christmas tree up early.

Granted, in more typical times it would seem a tad premature to be talking about festive decorations when the embers are still glowing on the Bonfire Night pyres.

But when life as we know it has been turned upside down, inside out, back to front – basically, for all intents and purposes ceased to exist within most tangible realms of normality – then the way I see it, do whatever brings you joy.

Which is shorthand for saying: deck the halls. Nor am I alone in that sentiment. After a thoroughly rotten year, there seems to be a growing movement that advocates tapping into our inner Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) posthaste.

It is a topic that can provoke strong reactions: either folk get a warm, fuzzy feeling or they shriek in horror, “It’s too early!!! Not until December!!!” with more exclamation marks than Donald Trump throwing a temper tantrum on Twitter.

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There tends to be a terrible snobbery about those who put their decorations up early, the suggestion being that it’s a gauche and lowbrow thing to do. Meanwhile, anyone who holds off until mid-December is able to claim some shoogly moral high ground, citing “tradition”.

I would counter that if you’re the kind of person who feels it necessary to dictate how other people should behave in the sanctuary of their own homes, then the problem may not lie with someone stringing up a few fairy lights in November.

Studies have found that those who decorate early for Christmas are likely to be happier and more relaxed. Which, again, perhaps tells you everything you need to know about those who don’t.

Last year, I didn’t get the decorations up until the second week of December due to an epic DIY saga. In 2018, I moved house mid-December and it was the 23rd by the time the tree was unearthed from the mountains of packing boxes.

It was dull and dreary not having the place looking Christmassy until that late. Still, I reckon that means I’m due a rebate for festive arrears given all those lost days, which, by my calculations, suggests I could be sticking the tree up any day now.

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The one thing holding me back, though, isn’t to do with fear of the neighbours – or some of you – tutting in disdain, but rather that the best part of two months is a long period for decorations to be out without having to be dusted umpteen times and I’m not a fan of housework at the best of moments.

This much I do know: My Christmas tree will be up by St Andrew’s Day. Now, if you need me, I’ll be in the loft looking out the tinsel.

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