Depending on your viewpoint, you will be either delighted or appalled by the announcement that the infamous Coca-Cola truck is to return to Doncaster this Christmas.
Love it or loathe it, the huge red and white lorry, complete with an endless loop of that “Holidays Are Coming” jingle will roll into Lakeside Village on November 26.
You may recall that when it rocked up in Doncaster Market Place last year, people came from far and wide and spent hours queuing in the cold and dark. To see a lorry. A lorry that was lit up a bit. A lorry with the words “Coca-Cola” written on the side.
Now the soft drink giant says that the arrival of the Holidays Are Coming advert (you’re now singing that jingle in your head aren’t you?) marks the start of Christmas.
Now, while I think there are many more, shall we say traditional ways of marking the onset of the festive season, whether we like it or not, like the John Lewis advert, like lights being switched on ever earlier, like Elfing Yourself, it is one of those modern things that the kids love and despite the grumbles, is not going to go away.
It’s all very well talking about the true meaning of Christmas, the Nativity, carols, mince pies and all the rest of it, but we know, sadly, that with each passing generation, sometimes, those things can get swept further and further down the line.
There were calls to ban it the truck from Liverpool because it promotes obesity.
We all know that when it turns up on Merseyside, people are going to turn out in their thousands and any thoughts of whether to much brown fizzy stuff is bad for you will evaporate in the clamour to stand near a red and white lorry for a bit.
Anyway, surely a bunch of erstwhile Scousers are more likely to be concerned about getting the thing up on bricks and having the wheels away (sorry, cheap regional stereotyped gag there before the complaint letters start flooding in).
Whether or not you like it, there’s no denying that some kids will find the whole experience “magical.”
I was sent along to cover its arrival in Doncaster for this very newspaper last year and was truly amazed to see the huge crowds of people.
People, that also spend money in local shops and businesses during its stay. Therefore putting money back into the town centre, which surely can only be a good thing can’t it?
There’s endless complaints about shops closing in the town centre - so anything that gets people in should be applauded.
OK, it might not have the charm of being taken to a Santa’s grotto in a toyshop as a kid (which was all another marketing stunt to get your parents to buy toys) but its here to stay, so deal with it.
My only issue is with them calling it “holidays” when to most Brits it means two weeks on a sun-lounger.