It's the 1st August and I bet Christmas couldn't be further from your mind. It's certainly nowhere near mine. Or rather, it wasn't - until I got an email from UNICEF Christmas Cards and Gifts advising me that "a brand new collection of greeting cards, Christmas cards, calendars and diaries and so many gifts for family and friends" is now available.
Now, I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment, such as:
What to wear at my boss's BBQ;
How to escape to sunnier climes again before the summer's over;
What book to read next - Twelve Sharp or A Spot of Bother;
When is the next Debenhams Blue X sale;
How to find time to go for a manicure/reflexology/full body massage;
Who to go to the Bolshoi with;
What to cook for dinner;
and so on.
Christmas card buying just doesn't feature in my Top 10, 20 or 30 - in fact I've not thought of Christmas in anything other than the vaguest terms since, well, last January, when I put away the festive decorations. So why does UNICEF consider 1st August the optimum time to start its Christmas gift buying campaign? Do people really think "oh my God, it's August, better buy some Christmas cards before I forget"?
I have a lot of respect for UNICEF and its work, so I don't like slamming them, but some perspective would be good. I used to think that sending me their winter catalogue in September (while I was still on my summer holiday) was taking forward planning to extremes, but an August campaign really takes the biscuit. Sorry UNICEF, but I intend to enjoy summer (especially now it's finally here - hip hip hurray) and celebrate Diwali, Halloween and Guy Fawke's Night before I even *think* about ordering Christmas cards.
Now where is the Delete button?