Annabel Giles: Views from the Seafront
PUBLISHED: 16:48 05 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 20 February 2013
Forget every day being the first day of spring - when I rule the world the first day that will be banned is Christmas, along with carols, cards and Kris Kringle ..
WHEN I am eventually elected to rule the world (and by the way, how's that going? Could you try a little harder, please?), one of the first things I shall do is to pass a law that there will be no mention of Christmas before December 1.
It is definitely starting earlier and earlier each year? My son always takes exception to the 'back to skool' merchandise which appears at the beginning of the summer holidays, and I don't blame him. Halloween is positively boring by the time it arrives - this year there were no trick or treating costumes available to buy on October 31 - "it's Halloween, you see," said the shop assistant, helpfully.
It's the timing that's wrong. There seems to be an unwritten rule that at the beginning of November, it's perfectly OK for all the shops to deck their halls and start bombarding us with festive spirit. But if I buy a Christmas tree too early, it dries out, shrivels up and becomes petrified. And each year I determine to do my Christmas shopping early, each year I do it late.
And another thing - buying gifts. My next law will be that only families exchange presents. Any friends that buy you something without telling you and leave it too late for you to get them something in return will be taken outside and shot - they are not friends.
Similarly, while I am happy to receive offerings of gold and a certain amount of frankincense, myrrh is out. I mean really, who wants the dried sap of a Somalian tree for Christmas? The dvd box set of Brothers & Sisters Season 2 will go down much better with me.
I will also be very fierce about what vocabulary people are allowed to use at this time of year. Only 'Father Christmas' will do, 'Santa' is out.
Smartalecs who call him 'Kris Kringle' will get a sharp slap around the back of the head; even 'Pere Noel' is pushing it.
Anyone caught eating a brussel sprout will have it pushed back up their bottom, from whence it surely came.
There will be no sending of Christmas cards whatsoever. They are a waste of time, money and paper. If you need to contact your friends just because it's December, then pick up the phone or send an email like you would at any other time of year. Send them a carrier pigeon with a bit of tinsel tied round its leg if you must. But rest assured, you will be personally responsible for saving a whole rainforest if you shut your eyes and think of a little robin hopping around in a snow drift instead.
Charity donations will be complusory. The only other option is to force your children to donate their favourite present to the local orphanage - you choose...