While everyone else is complaining about the early opening of the Brown Thomas Christmas shop, I'm here to tell you why it's a good thing
Brown Thomas has officially opened its Christmas shop for this year's festive season; exactly 132 days before December 25.
The news has been met with mixed reactions (though largely negative), and I'm here to weigh up the positive. To me, it's never too early to celebrate Christmas – whether you're religious or not. Here's why.
A break from the sadness
I work in the media. I'm all too aware of what's going on in the world; close to home and further afield. Every day I'm bombarded with news about healthcare scandals, political upheaval, disappearances, murder, sexual assault and the climate crisis.
These stories come at me from all angles: social media, newspapers, radio, conversations with friends, phone calls with family, chit-chat in the office canteen. Even my favourite TV shows have incorporated these themes into their plotlines.
So forgive me for wanting some warm, festive cheer.
The Brown Thomas Christmas shop, which is open in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, promises to "showcase an unrivalled selection of the most exquisite decorations, Christmas trees and unique gifts across a special curation of themes".
I need this. My mind craves warm, feel-good news and if it comes in the form of twinkly lights and a Santa Claus figurine, so be it. Life is hard enough without adding to the negative narrative. Let me enjoy the decorations, the music, the nostalgia. Why take away from the one cheery thing that's been mentioned all week?
Not the same for everyone
Don't get me wrong; I know Christmas isn't easy for everyone. The holiday season brings up tough emotions for many of us; perhaps memories of loved-ones lost or financial problems. I get that and I'm by no means trying to take away from it.
Still, on some level, I think the Christmas shop can do our minds a world of good. It's escapism. You don't have to buy anything (personally I can't afford to shop there), but you can immerse yourself in the childish wonder of it all. For a few moments, forget about all the sad things that are happening. Ignore the deeper issues of Christmas (the expense, the family troubles), and allow yourself to just enjoy the magic of singing snowmen and cinnamon candles.
I'm not an advocate for pricey decorations, nor frivolous spending. But I am a believer in spreading joy, no matter what format it comes in. Whether it's the middle of summer or the height of winter, I'll take a merry Christmas and raise you a happy new year any day.
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