Christmas in November? Why not?
I don't know about you, but I think that Christmas has arrived much earlier than usual this year, but for once people don't seem to mind.
We all seem to be embracing the festive cheer well ahead of the traditional December lead-in and so far, so good.
The streets are festooned with twinkling lights and the Santa lists have been written for weeks.
Perhaps it's all the doom and gloom we have faced this year, or perhaps many of us are lucky enough to be in employment and in a position to afford to celebrate, but there has most definitely been a shift. Long gone are the days of waiting until December 1, or for the start of Advent to crack open the decorations and put up the Christmas tree, but for once it seems to be accepted pretty much across the board at this early stage.
The challenge is, how do we embrace all that is sincere and meaningful about Christmas without getting swept up in the vulgar consumerism which it encourages?
The two are so very often entwined that as well as observing all the traditional and religious elements, we are shopping 'til we drop at the same time.
For some, it is all about lists, shopping, buying presents and filling the fridge and while there is nothing wrong with this, it's important not to forget that as cliche as it sounds, those things are not important at the end of the day.
This year, Black Friday really hit the Irish shores in a physical sense. Every shop was involved, and not just in the larger cities.
What was once the preserve of online retailers, outside of the USA, has become common place and there is more effort than ever made to get consumers to part with their hard earned cash long before Christmas even comes. It is a pretty clever concept though, because what will many of us do when we have ticked off out lists - well buy more of course.
We will shop right up until Christmas Eve because we can and because the deals are just there to be had - and then after Christmas, we'll get up at silly o'clock to have a crack at the January sales, which incidentally are sold out by the time January starts.
As we look towards the end of another year, it's important to make the most of this most enjoyable of seasons, and if that means starting in November well why not. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.