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article imagePub customers 'appalled' as Christmas tree goes up in July

By James Walker     Jul 25, 2015 in Odd News
Milton Keynes - A British bar and restaurant has sparked outrage from customers after putting up a Christmas tree over five months before the big day. The pub was apparently using it as a "training exercise" for staff but drinkers weren't happy.
The Daily Mail reports how the Milton Keynes branch of the Harvester restaurant chain erected the tree last Sunday. It was fully decorated with baubles and a star and stood next to a table that had also been prepared for Christmas.
The company explained to the paper that it had been intended to attract people in to begin their preparations as some people like to get their plans made in July. A spokesperson admitted that the Harvester Fountain had "got into the Christmas spirit a little early this year" but that "some of our guests do like to get their Christmas booking plans underway, even in July."
The regular customers weren't impressed though. Lee Smith described how he was "absolutely appalled" to find the tree already shining. He says he "instantly had multiple comments of horror" when he posted a Facebook update with a picture of the offender.
A waitress told him she didn't agree with the decoration but it was company policy to put it up. The tree was taken down three days later as other people complained. Harvester said it was intended to be a training exercise for staff and a temporary promotion for Christmas bookings and the festive menu at the restaurant chain.
This drew further derision from some online who noted that "the festive menu" is most likely to be "turkey and all the trimmings" and that most people should not need it to be promoted. Yahoo News notes that Harvester appears to have some history of occurrences like this: last year, the Ashford branch in Kent put their tree up in August.
It's now common for retailers to begin selling festive items months before December, with some shops opening their Christmas ranges as early as August or September. It's possible Harvester has just taken the record though, with 159 days before December 25.
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