It's not just you: Science says Christmas really is starting earlier every year

It's a cliché, but it seems Christmas really is arriving earlier each year.

People are now thinking about it as early as mid-August – almost three months earlier than in 2007 – according to a study of internet searches for terms such as “Santa Claus”, “elf” and “presents” by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS).

Data analyst Nathan Cunningham looked at the volume of Christmas-related Google searches over the past six years to work out the probability of each week being defined as “Christmas” or “not Christmas” with the help of cluster analysis and an algorithm he created for research into fossil pollen.

He found that from a relatively late start of 11 November in 2007, we have turned our minds to Christmas as early as 19 August in 2012.

Christmas started on 12 October 2008 and 30 August 2009 before a delay to 3 October 2010 and 11 September 2011.

However, the past two years have seen the start settle at 19 August and 25 August.

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