Column: Merry November

 Enforced festivity

About this time last year – it may have been earlier – I expoused my views that Christmas should wait until, well, Christmas.

This year I am trying to be less of a Scrooge and more of a Santa’s little helper (yes, even in early November) but my sparkly good sport mettle is being sorely tested.

Driven by my expensive, illogical, terribly fashionable, caffeine addiction to a well known coffee destination after a plethora of challenging newspaper deadlines, on entering the premises I noticed there was a certain festivity in the air.

Putting my best Christmas fairy smile on, I grinned and bore it until I reached the counter where I managed to avert my cynical eyes from the Americanised festive flavourings and cakes on offer and put in my usual, distinctly overpriced all-year-round order.

Did I want to pay extra for the festive blend?

No, frankly I did not.

I’m sure it’s very nice but I could feel my bile rising nicely.

Escaped from the till, I waited for my beverage politely until my greater senses became aware of the music assaulting my ears.

Christmas carols.

On registering ‘O Come all ye faithful,’ my suppressed Grinch-ish thoughts must have reached my eyes because the busy barista rolled her eyes back at me in the manner of a long-suffering parent hearing a rendition of ‘Let it go’ from Frozen for the seven millionth time.

I felt for her.

Until she handed me my usual takeaway brew in a cup adorned with red and green that ended my enforced twinkliness all at once.

I opened my mouth, unable to keep my inner Bah Humbug silent any longer, only to be pre-empted by the now grimacing barista.

‘I know,’ she said as I swore silently.

‘Too early.’

‘She sent me on my way with caffeine to sooth my soul and fully convinced I was not the only naughty child whose stocking would be bereft of gifts when Christmas finally does arrive.

Luckily Santa’s elves were not not to be seen checking on behaviour and monitoring foul language as it’s only bl***y early November and they haven’t been recruited yet.

This first appeared in titles including Lancashire Evening Post HERE