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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 23 January, 2018
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"It's November. Would you ever go home?": Santa and some Irish models kicked off Christmas today

A slightly frazzled looking polar bear also lent a hand.

DUBLIN’S PLAN FOR the festive season was kicked off today in typical Irish PR fashion.

Models outnumbered elves by a factor of two to one, for instance. While we’re at it, members of the public were pretty thin on the ground too: reporters, council workers, gardaí, and a slightly under-utilised choir jostled for space as Santa Claus posed for pictures with the Irish models and Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh.

models Models Sarah Morrissey and Holly Carpenter at today's launch. Source: Keith Arkins

The fourth of November might seem a little early for quite this much CHRISTMAS – although the few Dubliners who did stop by for a mince pie said they couldn’t get enough of it.

“It’s great, make it as early as possible. We heard it on the radio and we came in specially,” one spectator, Jackie, said.

“Love Christmas, the longer the run-in the better,” her friend, Liz, agreed.

Others weren’t so happy to see Santa arrive at the Spire quite this close to Halloween, however.

“It’s November. Would you ever go home?” one taxi driver implored, to blank-faced responses from the choir (‘don’t look at us, we didn’t organise it’).

Another man wandered over to ask members of the choir what charity they were collecting for.

“None,” came the reply.

“None! (Shakes head). What a waste. What a waste.”

Of course, this wasn’t really a launch for the public at large. If it was, it wouldn’t have been held at 11am on a Wednesday morning.

For retailers, this sort of event is absolutely appropriate for the time of year if you want to have have a chance of getting your message out before people start their shopping in earnest.

There are Christmas light ceremonies to tell people about (yes, more than one) and festive markets to talk up (at least one, possibly two): so it’s no surprise that city centre retailers are pulling out all the stops as they bid to compete against the convenience of the suburban shopping centre, and the might of the internet.

In that regard, perhaps we can forgive the appearance of carol singers, Santa Clauses, and odd-looking fake polar bears (see above) a full seven weeks before Bono stages his annual Christmas Eve busk.

Read: An Post are trying to make Christmas shopping less painful this year

Read: Looking for a job this Christmas? These places are hiring

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