The suntan lotion has only just gone back in the bathroom cabinet, and the summer beach towels are barely dry, but apparently it’s that time already: the V&D department store in Eindhoven has opened its Christmas department.

There was a time when most of us had to wait until the first door on the advent calendar opened before the season to be jolly was officially underway.
And in the Netherlands especially, you could always rely on the strong tradition of Sinterklaas to form a natural barrier against the expansion of the festive period, and armies of Zwarte Piets to hold back the onslaught of Father Christmas.
But now even that sacred cow (or is that the fatted goose?) has been well and truly slaughtered.
Creeping commercialisation and the drive to squeeze every last cent out of our wallets means we are bombarded with baubles and tinsel before the clocks have even gone back.
It’s doubly galling that in the same week as Eindhoven council says it will be the first to heed minister Cramer’s call to darken our cities, the commercial world is encouraging us to light up an event that is still more than two months away.
In a country that loves to be ‘normaal’, can’t someone legislate that carols should not be sung before December 1st? What would the Santa and his elves think? They haven’t even had time to take the orders yet.

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