Too soon? Christmas shop opens in Dublin, Cork and Limerick

Brown Thomas unapologetic about selling festive decorations and fake trees in August

Brown Thomas opens its Christmas shop.


Ho ho nooooo, say it ain’t so. There are still 131 sleeps until Christmas and already Brown Thomas shops in Dublin, Cork and Limerick have decked the halls and are suggesting it is the season to be jolly.

It is hardly much of a surprise that the high end retailer has opened its Christmas shops even before nation’s children have gone back to school as this is what it has done every year for the best part of a decade. And as with every other year the retailer was entirely unapologetic.

“We open our Christmas shop every year in August which always proves to be very popular with customers,” BT’s managing director Steven Sealy said.

He suggested that the store’s fake trees would be “in high demand from the beginning of the season” while its decorations “start to sell-out in early November”.

One of the trees which is likely to attract considerable attention is a seven-and-a-half foot plastic tree festooned with 200 sparkling lights that can be up and running from out of the box in less than five minutes without so much as a single cross word about tangled Christmas lights spoken by anyone.

At €550, the tree is not cheap but forward-thinking souls who bunow may be laughing in five or six years when the consequences of this year’s drought will be felt on the real tree market.

The woman who has chosen the Miracle Tree is Woods, Edel Woods. She has been thinking about Christmas 2018 since before Christmas 2017 which must be terribly confusing.

Like Sealy she is unapologetic about her role in making Wizzard’s wish that it be Christmas every day come a step closer to being an absolutely horrific reality.

She said the BTs Christmas shop had become known for its “beautiful and unusual Christmas decorations and trees” and claimed that customers “love to snap up decorations whether it is to be organised or to build on a collection they already have.”

Certainly shoppers The Irish Times spoke to seemed happy enough with the premature festivity. “I always like it,” said Elena Mihovia who is originally from Bulgaria but is living in Islandbridge. “Last August it was the same. It lifts people mood when they see Christmas in the store.”

Dairin Pernet is Irish but lives in Switzerland and she was in the store with her four-year-old son stocking up. “I love it, “ she said. “It is so cute. This just conjures up all the nostalgia for me. And look, it is a small space, and Dublin is full of tourists and they will love it.”

She was buying presents for her son’s teachers. “That must be the Swiss rubbing off on me,” she said. When asked if she had any concerns that her child might start counting down the days until Santa arrives because of the shop visit she said no. “He is still caught up in the back-to-school thing and he has a new Incredibles costume in this bag so that’s going to keep him occupied.”

Aisling Creevey from Naas wasn’t so convinced. “It gets earlier and earlier doesn’t it,” she said. “I understand why people might give out but it’s nice to look at. I can’t get my head around back to school yet never mind Christmas, mind you I am a teacher.” She said she had no plans to buy anything. “I’ve had a look but it Christmas shopping really isn’t my agenda today.”

It wasn’t on Michelle Clancy from Glasnevin’s agenda either. “I think it takes the novelty out of Christmas,” she said. “What is seldom is wonderful.”