It’s a debate that rages every year…when are we allowed to start talking about Christmas? Call me old fashioned, I’m a traditionalist at heart, but for me Christmas is about Christmas week; Christmas Eve, Christmas Day itself and then the period through to New Year. It’s about family, it’s about food, it’s about what’s on tv, how many logs are on the fire and yes of course it’s about presents too. Very rarely is it about religion nowadays, much to my Mother’s disappointment but I don’t think I’m alone in that respect these days.
I’m no fan of Halloween (there’s a post for another day) but I accepted it happened every October 31st just after my brothers birthday on the 30th, (I always thought there was a reason those dates were so close) and then came Bonfire Night (a night I am a big fan of) Never, ever, ever, should Christmas even be whispered before those two events have comfortably passed by. They need their moment in the spotlight and why race to a future event when we could be revelling in those here and now?
As a retailer, however, I am somewhat conflicted. Seemingly my fellow retailers think the right thing to do is promote events such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas earlier and earlier each year. No sooner have you taken down the Christmas decorations and the Easter Eggs are on the shelves. Cobwebs, bats and witches hats appear the minute the clocks go back and you can seemingly buy fireworks year round.
In recent years the fight for the Christmas pound has manifested itself into a battle of TV ads. Designed to tug at our purse strings via our heart strings, ever more elaborate and lavish advertisements have emerged. Often star studded, always beautifully produced, increasingly touching and more and more expensive by the year. The ads themselves are turning into mini movies. It is said the budget for this years 120 second Bear & Hare commercial was £7m, £1m more than they spent on last years Snowman piece.
(that’s £58k a second in case you were wondering)
The ad was first scheduled in the entire break of an episode of the X-Factor. This is the most viewed slot of the televisual week and reportedly cost £750,000 alone! The date of that première….NOVEMBER 9th. The embers on my bonfire where still glowing on the 9th!
Undoubtedly the John Lewis ad is a beautiful piece of work which will most likely be a great success for them. M&S, Debenhams and Sainsburys are all also hoping for great success with their own big budget productions, even Cadburys are entering into the world of Christmas tv advertising for the first time this year. (No I didn’t realise that either)
I don’t have a problem with any of this, in fact in a strange and modern way they add to the magic of Christmas…..but in early November?? I’m already tired of Hare & Bear even though I loved it on the first, second, third, fourth and fifth time. Who knows how many times I’ve seen it now!
I always used to say that Christmas was “green for go” when you heard that familiar sleigh bell sound, not from Santa’s actual sleigh you understand, but those that come ahead of the twinkling lights as the Coco Cola Truck snakes its way through the snow laden wilderness! I loved that ad, still do, and I think they used to get the timing right but even they are rolling the truck out earlier this year.
From running The Orchard, we know some people are super organised and like to get their Christmas decorations ordered much earlier in the year, we know of others who year round have an eye open for the perfect Christmas gift so as to avoid the mayhem in the shops come December. Again, I’m all for that, if you are that organised all power to you. But I also know that there are many, some much more curmudgeonly than I, who think Christmas is forced upon us too early each year. So when is the right time, or at least when is the most “suitable” time for all? I’m not sure I know the answer to that, it will certainly be interesting to see the results of the question posed on our Facebook page earlier this evening. Get involved and have your say, link to our Facebook page below;-
At least here at www.theorchardhomeandgifts.com we don’t have to worry too much about upsetting anyone by setting aside a big section of a shopfloor over to Christmas. We don’t need to hang decorations and more importantly we don’t need to run a £7m ad campaign to get people into mega-stores up and down the land (although it would be fun to try one!) The beauty of the internet means people can shop for what they want, when they want it. We have decorations tucked away on the site out of season but for those specifically searching for them they will find them with a site search or Google search. When Christmas gets a little nearer we open our on-site Christmas Shop but keep it quietly tucked away on a corner of the site. Once we see the orders for decorations and Advent calendars start to trickle through we know its time to start “decking the halls” and we go about showcasing everything we have in stock for Christmas this year.
Speaking of which, that John Lewis ad features only one actual product. Did you even notice it? I’m sure you did, it was an old fashioned bell alarm clock. Regular readers of the Rustic Scribes blog posts (that’s me in case you are a first time reader!) may recall a previous piece on the Best Of British manufacturing. Well, one of those Great British manufacturers referred to in the blog was Newgate Clocks, manufacturers of vintage clocks. We are proud to be a stockist and even more pleased to say we stock a whole host of their vintage style bell alarm clocks. Better still it hasn’t cost me seven million pounds to tell you about them! Here’s one of our favourites
We suspect this one will make it into many a shopping basket this year along with some other Orchard favourites. Last years best sellers included Multi Photo Frames in numerous shapes and sizes, Cook Book Stands inspired no doubt by the Great British Bake Off and many of our Aged Ceramics especially the Blue & White Aged Ceramic Bird Bath.
Here’s last year’s Top 10 Orchard buys for Christmas in full
Blue & White Aged Ceramic Bird Bath
Multi Frame 8 Picture (already sold out for this year!)
Shaker Heart Apple Bird Feeder
Vintage Ceramic Coasters (more coming soon)
If you’ve read this far I commend you and am grateful for your time in reading my witterings. As a thank you here’s a little discount code which will grant you 15% off any of these Orchard favourites. RUSTICSCRIBE15.
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave comments, especially if you are similar minded or you wildly disagree!
Until next time, The Rustic Scribe