THE lights have been switched on, late night shopping has started and the Coca Cola advert has made a welcome return to our TV screens - yes you've guessed it, Christmas is just around the corner!

Some people may think that it's all a waste of time and money, but personally I love it.

True, I do think that some people do go a bit overboard, but for me it's great to show your family and friends how much you love them...and a good opportunity to eat and drink a lot without feeling guilty!

I can't believe that the lights have been switched on in Hereford already and late night shopping started on Wednesday with a whole month still to go, but then again, December 25 will soon come around before you say "have you bought the turkey dear?"

The switch-on of the lights on Sunday saw a large crowd in High Town, but I do think that the city should try and attract some sort of "celebrity".

I remember when Jet from TV show Gladiators switched them on in 1993, which created huge interest, not least amongst my classmates at St Paul's Primary School - yes I'm talking to you, fellow HT reporter Paul Broome :-).

I know most of the people who switch on the lights in other towns and cities aren't exactly A-list, with most of them "stars" from reality TV shows, but at least they are someone who you can class as a "celebrity".

Even if Hereford doesn't go national, then surely it can get a Hereford United player or even local celebrity John Challis to switch them on?

Hey why not put in a call to Ellie Goulding if she is not busy, although Kington might try and fight for her services.

The switching on of the lights is to herald the start of the retail festive season.

I haven't started my shopping yet (although I have bought all of my cards), but I can easily do it all in a month. Hey I've done it in a day in the past, although that does bring added stress!

The works Christmas do's will also soon be in full swing.

The Hereford Times' one is in two weeks and no doubt will be another one to remember for everyone, especially if a certain work colleague does the moonwalk as promised.

I won't say who it is, but Mark Bowen knows who it is...oops sorry Mark ;-)

And then we come to the big day.

The kids will wake you up at an unearthly hour all excited, with their eyes bulging when they unwrap their presents to see that they have got what they wanted (I still remember getting a spaceship and a Sega Game Gear), the designated cook stressing whether they put everything in the oven at the right time, and granddad falling asleep come the Queen's speech.

The television channels will also be battling for your attention, with soaps no doubt leading the way.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the Soccer Saturday Christmas special and Top of the Pops (even if JLS and One Direction will probably be on).

Although, no doubt the DJs in town will be belting out festive songs throughout the Christmas weekend - I'm expecting my mate Matt Healey to wear his Santa outfit during his set :-)

But however you spend your Christmas, make sure it's a good one as, remember it only lasts for one day.

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