Christmas Comes Early


Sir, - I would like to suggest a new competition in which your readers may wish to partake. Similar to the letters identifying the first recorded cuckoo in spring, I would like to invite letters identifying the first signs of Christmas.

This years nominees so far might be Smyths Toy Stores in Parnell Street, Dublin, for having Santa arrive on the first weekend in November; Grafton Street, for having its street decorations aloft by the second weekend in November; and the Centre Quick-Stop shop in Donnybrook, which decorated its shop the weekend before last, greeting customers with Christmas balloons and garlands throughout the shop on Monday morning.

If this pre-emptive marketing strategy continues, we should be able to buy our Valentine's Day cards on old Christmas Day, our Easter eggs on Valentine's Day and our Hallow'en masks on the August Bank Holiday.

I look forward to next September's editions of The Irish Times, when this competition may well start in earnest. - Yours, etc.,

Nigel G. Bannister,

Ballyowen Green, Lucan, Co Dublin.