Crackers! Summer hasn't officially ended yet - but Christmas trees are already up in Bolton
THE children have just gone back to school — and yet Bolton is already gearing up for Christmas.
Halloween and Bonfire Night are still to be celebrated, yet cards, wrapping paper, presents and even mince pies are available in stores across the town.
And even though there are 106 sleeps to go until Santa makes his annual trip to the town, the first Christmas tree has already been put up.
The Capitol pub in Churchgate, in the town centre, has erected the green festive tree, complete with decorative presents and a giant Christmas cracker.
Staff will be unveiling four more trees over the coming weeks.
Lexi Wilkinson, the venue’s deputy manager said the tree has drawn a mixed reaction from regulars.
“Some of our customers love it, some think we’re bonkers,” she said.
“As a company, we love to get ready for Christmas early.
“It’s around the time that people start planning their Christmas parties, so the tree acts as a reminder to customers that we can take bookings.
“It’s without doubt the busiest time of year for pubs and it is really competitive within the trade.”
Marks and Spencer, The Co-operative and Morrisons have already started stocking up on seasonal produce, with mince pies and Christmas puddings appearing on the shelves together with Advent calendars.
Stores say that stocking up early for Christmas helps people spread the cost of the festive period and to cut down on those stressful checkout queues in the third week of December.
A Co-operative Food spokesman said: “Shoppers tell us that stocking some seasonal products, like frozen party foods, Christmas puddings and biscuit boxes, slightly earlier in the year really helps them to spread the cost of Christmas.
“We also know from our customers that sometimes they do like to treat themselves to the odd festive favourite, such as a mince pie, before the Christmas period begins.”
A Marks and Spencer spokesman said: “M&S mince pies are now in store for autumn as people look forward to eating warmer, heartier foods as the cold weather starts to kick in.”
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