Despite my idle threats to cancel it several times every autumn, I’m quite a big fan of Christmas.

The daft jumpers I can take or leave, but there’s all that loving and giving and peace and goodwill malarkey. And that warms the heart, right? 

Right. So much so, in fact, that despite loving this job so much, I almost regret being back at work in January when it’s still, say, the 11th day of Christmas. By rights, I should still be topping up an elderly neighbour’s sherry, rather than already writing the second road test of the year. Still, I like writing about cars, so this is fine. 

What I’m still yet to ascertain, though, is when Christmas starts. This year it was apparently 13 September, when my local supermarket started selling mince pies. You might even remember 13 September this year. It was 32deg C outside and sunset was at half seven. How incredibly festive. Now, I’m comfortable with the Cadbury Creme Egg season starting on 26 December, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for this Christmas in September thing.

Not long afterwards, I heard the first jingle bells of the year on the car radio, always a sign that it’s time to buy an iPod. But it wasn’t the bells that confused me most, although they ran it a close second. It was that this was an advertisement for a sofa company called DFS – sometimes they have a sale on – and they made it sound like they were offering an amazing service by being able to deliver a sofa before ‘you know who’ arrived, hence the accompaniment of the jingle bells.