Christmas really does come earlier every year
I am glad to see my human friends finally come to their senses as experts have confirmed that Christmas really is arriving earlier each year! Us Elves start to think about Christmas in January so I have always been dismayed to see humans leave it so late.
According to a study of internet searches for terms such as “Santa Claus”, “elf” (good to read we elves are thought about!) and “presents” published by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), people now think about Christmas as early as mid August – almost three months earlier than in 2007!
Data analyst Nathan Cunningham looked at the volume of Christmas-related Google searches in each of the past six years to work out the probability of each week being defined as “Christmas” or “not Christmas”.
He found that from an extremely late start of November 11 in 2007, we have turned our minds to Christmas as early as August 19 in 2012.
Apparently, Christmas started on October 12 in 2008 and August 30 in 2009 before a slight delay to October 3 in 2010 and September 11 in 2011.
In the last two years the festive season started on August 19 and August 25.
Mr Cunningham’s results are published in a paper entitled Does Christmas really come earlier every year?. The study earned him a runner-up prize in this year’s Young Statisticians Writing Competition organised by the RSS (Royal Statistical Society) and Significance magazine.
Mr Cunningham describes his findings as a little startling: “From a seemingly late beginning of November 11 in 2007 we had begun turning our minds to thoughts of the festive season as early as August 25 in 2013.
“While this of course seems absurdly early it should be borne in mind that the beginning of the Christmas period here reflects a marked change in our mindsets to thoughts of Christmas, and not the beginning of the full-blown holiday season.
“Nevertheless, it would appear that the prevailing notion is correct: Christmas is indeed coming earlier every year.”
RSS executive director Hetan Shah said: “This is a great example of using publicly-available statistics to take a fresh look at an age-old debate.
“Whilst many of us haven’t even started our Christmas shopping yet, this study suggests people are turning their minds to the festive period earlier and earlier.”
Needless to say – all of us elves are delighted to see humans giving Christmas the attention it deserves. A few more years and they will start feeling the festive cheer in January too! 😉