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The big day is less than two months away, but for many Brits Christmas begins long before December 25th. That’s because different things mark the start of the festive season for different people.

“Holidays are coming”

For the majority of people recently surveyed for us*, it wasn’t opening the first window of their advent calendar, putting up the tree or wrapping presents that meant Christmas had begun. Rather, it was the first time they caught sight of a convoy of red trucks decorated in Christmas lights making their way across their TV screens.

The Coca-Cola “Holidays are coming” advert was created by an American ad agency in the mid-1990s, but retired a few years later. Yet so many people complained to the drinks manufacturer that they missed it, the trucks were soon making their journey once again. Today, you can actually visit the Coca-Cola Christmas truck as it travels around the UK.

Feeling festive

One in five survey respondents claimed they thought the first appearance of the Coca-Cola ad marked the start of their Christmas. However, this isn’t the only brand that has become closely linked to the festive season. One in 20 survey respondents said watching the new John Lewis Christmas ad marked the start of Christmas for them, while there were some people who felt the same about Starbucks’ gingerbread lattes in red cups going on sale. There were even those who didn’t start to feel truly Christmassy until the new The X Factor winner’s single went on sale.

However, the start of Christmas isn’t quite so commercial for everyone. Around 16% of respondents claimed they got the festive spirit when the lights went up in their town centre, and a similar number felt the same about putting up their tree.

Having a blue Christmas

Unfortunately, signifiers that Christmas has begun might not fill everyone with joy. If you feel as though you have a million and one presents to buy for friends and family this year, on top of the costs of Christmas dinner and any travel you have planned, you may be dreading the holidays coming.

If you’re worried about how to make ends meet at Christmas, there are things you can do. Careful planning and budgeting could help you stretch your cash throughout the festive season, and mean you avoid the mad dash and panic to buy things the week before Christmas Day. After all, with all these signifiers, you can count on getting plenty of warning that the big day is on its way.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014.

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