How early is too early to start bombarding your customers with Christmas cheer?

The big day is still 48 days away but Hastings New World has gone full noise now, erecting a giant Santa on its roof on Monday night.

It's starting to feel more like Christmas in Hawke's Bay. Temperatures are picking up and
pohutakawa trees are blooming.

But some customers say the hype of the season has arrived too early, and should be bottled until the start of December.


Foodstuffs NZ spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said people would start seeing decorations appearing in its supermarkets around the country from now on.

"The team love this time of year and each store's decorations reflect their own individuality and local community holiday spirit.

"Some might even crack out a Santa hat a bit closer to Christmas."

According to Retail NZ spokesman Greg Harford, the country's Christmas shopping seasons starts on September 25.

"People always think Christmas is coming earlier every year, but it's been the end of September, October for many years."

He said the main reason was to get people thinking about both Christmas and summer early. It would build up throughout November and reach its peak in December, he said.

"Christmas is often used by retailers in New Zealand as a bit of a proxy for summer.

"Customers who wait until December before they start thinking about what they are going to do for Christmas may miss out on what they are looking for."

He said 13 per cent of retailers put decorations up by the end of October. More than half of retailers would have decorations up before then end of November.

Nineteen per cent wouldn't put up decorations at all.

A spokesperson for Napier City Council said its decorations would be up a week before the Santa Parade on December 2.

The decorations would include three trees, wreaths and banners. The Emmerson St Flower Pot would also be getting a Christmas makeover, with lilies and tinsel.

People in Hastings will see their Christmas decorations at a similar time, Hastings business association acting manager Kelly Nolan said.

Trees would be up by the end of November, with a ceremony to switch the Christmas lights on in the city on November 29.


When should shops start putting their Christmas decorations up?

Pauline Boyle (Hastings)

- Maybe the beginning of December, so we can get over Guy Fawkes.

Anne Stiefelhagen

(Havelock North)- It's so early you get bored of it by the time Christmas comes

Esther Parsons

(Havelock North) - I love Christmas decorations, I'd love to see much more of the nativity scenes, the true meaning of Christmas in the windows, and I'm fine with middle of November onwards

Shalama Kawhe

(Hastings) - 1st of December, being the Christmas month