LONDON, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Debenhams has reported the earliest start to the festive season ever, with Christmas decorations going up in homes all over Britain already.
Early snow and cold weather combined with the gloom of recession has encouraged thousands of people to reach for the tinsel and fairy lights to brighten up their days, sales figures have revealed.
Sales figures for Christmas decorations started soaring at Debenhams on November 22, over two weeks earlier than normal.
However, the trend is bound to outrage traditionalists who believe that Christmas is already spreading well beyond the traditional twelve day celebration period.
Debenhams spokeswoman Ruth Attridge said: "It's clear that thousands of people are putting more faith in Santa Claus than the IMF or politicians to bring joy into their lives this year.
"The bad weather has made it feel like Christmas, and so everyone is saying, 'Forget tradition, and seasonal dates. It's been a tough year, we need a break, so let's get stuck in."
The news means that Christmas celebrations in the UK are set to last for an incredible six weeks this year.
Already Debenhams' sales of tinsel, Christmas trees, fairy lights and other decorations have reached a record high. Demand for Christmas trees has leapt by 1,658 per cent, crackers are up 2,374 per cent, Christmas stockings by 190 per cent, cards and gift wrap by 412 per cent and table decorations by 980 per cent.
Among the big sellers are traditional Christmas tree decorations such as silver metal stars for the top of the tree, which are up 680 per cent, and sales of gold wreaths for the front door which have risen by 489 per cent.
'Ladette to Lady' Social & Etiquette Expert, Liz Brewer said: "Decorating your home for Christmas is one of life's great pleasures and should be done with all the family to mark the start of the festive season.
"The second week in December is seen as the appropriate time to dress your house, giving you enough time to check the lights are still working and to update your tree decorations whilst maintaining a sense of tradition and saving on the electricity bill.
"However, I'm not surprised that Britons are opting to deck the halls before December. A little Christmas magic bucks the spirit and brightens the days before the holidays begin."
Until now, sales of Christmas decorations have followed a totally predictable path, year in year out, with demand starting at the start of the second week in December.
Debenhams Ruth Attridge added: "These figures show that everyone in the UK is desperate to have a something to look forward to this year.
"Seeing Christmas decorations gives everyone a sense of excitement. It's a reminder of their own childhood when, magically, all of the things they hoped for did come true."
Debenhams is a leading department stores group with a strong presence in key product categories such as women's fashion - including velvet dresses - menswear, kid's clothing, home, Christmas gifts and health and beauty.
Debenhams is the second largest department store chain in the UK.
Debenhams operates 167 stores in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark, comprising 154 full department stores and 13 Desire by Debenhams stores, which is a small store concept featuring an edited product range. Debenhams also has 60 international franchise stores in 23 countries.
Debenhams online store can be found at Debenhams.com, where shoppers can find out all about the latest products to reach Debenhams's via Debenhams TV.