WELCOME to the back end of October – and a very happy Halloween/Bonfire Night/Christmas to all!

Since we now have all the Winter-themed events starting together this month as part of microwaved seasons, I thought I’d just get my greetings in early.

I’m not quite sure when we decided to bring all these celebrations forward and lump them into a massive spend-fest beginning in early October but this translates to shops full of, well, everything you need for all three events.

You can buy a children’s Halloween outfit - complete with skeleton mask, witch’s outfit and even bloody teeth - alongside boxes of fireworks and Christmas decorations in the same store!

Now, I enjoy the seasonal events like everyone else. It’s fun to see children (and adults) throwing themselves into becoming monsters and ghosts. I’m not a fan of fireworks, apart from official displays, but I love everything else about Bonfire Night, and Christmas is still a time of genuine celebration.

What I really don’t understand is why we have to start going mad in all directions in October. Planning for festive spending and buying presents early is very sensible and some people are quite awesome in how they plan Christmas like a military campaign.

Surely it wasn’t that long ago that we reserved celebrations for all three wintry events much nearer their actual time? And spacing them out increased the fun.

Halloween, thanks to American influence, is now one of our major annual celebrations with huge commercial off-shoots. It can be a rather menacing time for some people, though.

I mean, if you’ve not got your sweets or change ready, expect to either have your windows egged or be at the mercy of a gang of junior Freddie Kruegers or Frankensteins.

For most families, though, it’s just an excuse to get dressed up, slap on the fake blood and scars and have a party. Nothing wrong with that.

Bonfire Night – as those fabulous nostalgic photos in the Bolton News recently showed – has changed forever. It used to be such an exciting time with the smell of burning in the air, going from bonfire to bonfire, planning and building your own (probably in some inappropriate place like the end of the street).

There is still an element of that for young children but feral teens with bangers and a warped sense of fun have altered that. Now, it’s more about giving the dog Xanax and hoping the explosions will stop by midnight.

Sorry, I seem to have turned into a grumpy old woman and I really don’t mean to. The real cause is such premature Christmas fare in the shops.

Mid-November is soon enough to throw yourself into the festive cheer. To start so early means you can be fed up with it all when December actually begins and then it’s hard to summon up the festive goodwill to get you to December 25.

I promise I will, though. And, as Noddy Holder will shortly be saying absolutely everywhere, “Happy Chriiiiiiiiiistmas!”