Maybe it's the fact that I spend my life grocery shopping (a hidden 'perk' of motherhood), or that I write about shopping for a living, but hearing the phrase '12 Weeks to Christmas' and seeing the inevitable parade of festive promotions fills me with the urge to emigrate to Antarctica.
Now I'm no Grinch. I love Christmas, I love presents and I love shopping. I'm even one of those people who love wandering through Christmas sections in stores when it's July and 85 degrees outside. And I even love those mad houses wrapped in ten thousand fairy lights with huge animatronic reindeers on the rooftops. So all things considered you'd think I'd be happy to hear that Christmas is just 12 weeks away.
The problem is I can't do Christmas yet. I can't even get past the fact I have to make a food box for the Harvest festival (tomorrow if you're wondering), buy two witches costumes, haul in pumpkins for Halloween, and find a box of fireworks for November 5th!
It's why my own Christmas shopping always takes place around December 1st, possibly the worst time to start, as this is when all us reluctant shoppers get going. Cue having to trawl about to endless renditions of Last Christmas peppered with rage-in-the-aisles as yet another person finds the best toys sold out in October (when the smart parents bought them).
In many ways I am envious of these organised shoppers who methodically and wisely do their buys week by week. Aside from being debt-free come January, they are free to overindulge and have fun in December while us undisciplined shoppers have to drag ourselves around the high street. That's why I know I should embrace early shopping in the same way that I readily embrace early Christmas parties.
Plus, and this is a biggie, starting Christmas shopping before Halloween would be less stressful. For a start there would be no anxiety driving me crazy, and zero crowds to battle through. It also means I would avoid the panic buys that have me kicking myself on December 25th (kids' drum kit, goat from Oxfam anyone?).
What's more, let's be honest - us late Christmas shoppers are a bad-tempered lot. We tend to stomp around December ruining it for everyone as if someone forgot to tell us to save, shop and do good to all men! If we listened to what was being advised right now, we would have more money to spend, less debt on our hands come January and wouldn't have to persuade our kids that Santa loves Jaffa cakes because all the mince pies were sold out!
All things considered, it's a good argument for starting my Christmas shopping tomorrow. But what do you think? Is 12 weeks too soon to start?