Today I went food shopping at our new local (sort of) Morrisons. Nothing special there, as we have been a few times now and its very nice. However I was a little bit surprised when in the Bakery section I found Hot Cross Buns! Now despite appearances I am not a cake eater. However Hot Cross Buns without disgusting Peel are a different story completely. I love them. In fact I have been know to make myself sick of them by Easter! Tee hee! So you can imagine when I found them I was pretty excited as they looked really nice. It was only as I was putting them in my trolley that my brain reminded me it was the 3rd. Of JANUARY!! We still have a few foods things left over from Christmas to be eaten up yet Hot Cross Buns are on sale! I couldn't believe it!
Now I know that supermarkets have to order their stock in advance and plan when various seasonal decorations and posters are going to be put up in their stores. I also appreciate that now Christmas and New Year is over they need to refill their seasonal sections with something. However Easter stuff..... in January! Tesco were even worst as Easter chocolates started to appear on their shelves the day after Boxing Day! The worst offender though was a non-food store who during the week BEFORE Christmas were taking down all their Christmas stuff to put up their "barbecue and gardening" stuff! Hello! Did I miss something? Okay some people will soon be thinking about their gardens and putting in bulbs etc, but barbecues? Patio furniture? Picnic sets? Who thinks about this stuff at Christmas? Hell, in Britain we will be lucky if we need to start thinking about this stuff in May and June!
I accept supermarkets need to get stock in and on the shelves in advance of when they are needed. It would be impossible to have everyone descend on the shop on the same day of the year to get the same items. Plus in these skint times people might need to spread the cost over a few weeks. Christmas is an example of this. However what is the point of having these items on sale months in advance, if they have use by dates which run out long before the event itself? Clearly they are expecting everyone to buy the stuff months in advance, eat the lot and have to buy more. Perhaps even using "its goes off soon" as an excuse! This makes it nothing more than a marketing scam. They know we are going to buy the stuff, eat it and need to buy more. Its terrible! As a result, I refuse to buy stuff like this out of season. Easter Eggs (if I am buying them for anyone) are bought perhaps a week maybe two maximum in advance. Christmas we don't start buying stuff until after my Dad's birthday in early December. Fireworks we don't buy any more as we don't have a garden and local displays are far superior, likewise the lack of garden makes barbecues and patio furniture unnecessary (although I suppose we could have a couple of chairs on our new balcony with some flowers in pots) and Halloween is not really something we celebrate.
Aside from the obvious consumerism irritation, I also feel its sad as it makes the year go so quickly. We are all looking forward to Christmas, and then while we are still eating our way through selection boxes, tins of Quality Street and endless boxes of Mince Pies and enjoying images of reindeer penguins and snowmen, BANG its all fluffy chicks, bunny rabbits and Easter Eggs! Even in the summer, I feel dreadfully sorry for school kids in Britain as within days of them breaking up for summer holidays there are Back to School stuff in the shops! New uniforms, pencil cases, folders, school shoes, lunch boxes, etc. Poor kids have only just got use to not going to school on a weekday! Let them have some holiday for flips sake, before you start reminding them they have to go back to school! Then as soon as the kids have gone back to school and sometimes even before that during the August Bank Holiday what do we see fighting for space on the seasonal shelves with the last of the barbecues, picnic sets and new pencil cases? Christmas Cards and wrapping paper! Aaaarrrggghhhh!
Why do we have to have these things so early? Please Mr Tesco, Mrs Morrison, Ms Asda, Mr Sainsburys, Madam Waitrose and all the other supermarkets, can we please be left to enjoy the last days of summer without being reminded that Christmas is on it way? Can we please enjoy the gluttony of Christmas and hang overs of New Year before you blind us with fluffy bright yellow things for Easter? Can we wait until we have some actual "sunshine" and no frost on our car windows before you start tempting us with barbecues and picnic sets? (Although some years that would mean we would never see any barbecue stuff! LOL!). Can the kids actually get some sun on their faces, wear flip flops and shorts and go swimming for a few days before you make them start worrying if they have outgrown their school uniforms or need a new pencil case? Is that possible? Let us enjoy the time of year it is, without worrying about what's coming up in three months time?
I still bought the hot cross buns though!