Every year, Christmas advertising seems to crawl further and further away from the actual event, surprising us with the Santa-themed adornments earlier and earlier and reminding us that journalists and Olympic sprinters aren't the only ones obsessed with being first.
This is something we've come to expect as part of the hyper-commercialisation of the day, and it's hardly surprising or newsworthy anymore. However, this year, New World has set a new record, putting out a Christmas display in the early days of July.
In defence of the retailer, this display is part of its Christmas Club rewards scheme, which gives customers additional perks for signing up early. But still. It's July. We've only just scraped past the longest night of the year.
That said, there are still a number of Kiwis who refuse to jettison their Northern roots, holding mid-winter Christmas dinners in a nod to the chilly Christmases of the old country. So perhaps, this early promotion of the initiative isn't all that incongruent.
The Christmas party has also kicked off early across the ditch, with Virgin Mobile unapologetically delivering a Christmas ad in the middle of July (at least there was a dose of irreverence in this one).