[Warning: Rant with no Perl content]
Just got back from a shopping trip where the main aim was to buy birthday presents for a couple of friends. This has been rendered almost impossible by the arrival of the so-called "festive season". Everywhere shops stocks of ordinary everyday things has been decimated as they replace it with overpriced tat decorated with holly and tinsel.
Why does it have to start so early? It gets earlier each year. I'm sure I remember times when I was younger and people didn't think about xmas until the middle of December. But now, the shops get the xmas stock in that little bit earlier each year in an attempt to get the advantage over their competitors. At this rate it won't be too many years until we see xmas stuff in the shops as soon as we get back from our summer holidays.
Thinking about it, why bother with xmas at all. Does anyone still enjoy it? All of it? Let's examine the reasons why people claim to like xmas.
So it's pointless. A complete waste of time, effort and money,. All for a few days that no-one really enjoys. Sure, let the xtians have their day of baby-worship, but for the rest of us, do really need to get so involved in it all?
 Right opposite where I'm currently working, there's a shop called "The Christmas Shop" that already sells xmas stuff all year round. That really cheers me up each morning!