The annual advance of Christmas can be seen in the sudden appearance of lights, tinsel, festive trees and themed scenery in various public spaces around the country.
High streets glitter with trinkets hung from lamp posts and over pedestrianised rows of shops, while destinations such as Blackpool switch on their famous luminations to bring in the punters.
Football stadiums are no different, with teams and club owners keen to bring some of the seasonal spirit into their surroundings to lift the crowds and put a festive spring in their players’ steps.
Even in the midst of a relegation battle, a Christmasy mood can go some way to lighting up the atmosphere, if only temporarily for a few days in December.
Banners go up, well-suited bands appear on the pitch and new accessories pop up on stands, awnings and boardings, as if to leave no one in doubt about the time of year.
In years gone by, the teams themselves would take to the field acting as human bunting to offer seasonal greetings to their fans.
You’d be hard pressed to see too many of the detached millionaires that dominate the elite levels of the game take part in such silliness these days.
However, as evidenced by the number of players suited up in Christmas jumpers on Instagram, modern footballers are far from adverse to the charms of the festivities taking place.
Who knows what creative additions may be spotted on the buildings of football grounds and other stadiums this December, as sporting occasions seek to get into the spirit of things?
Stay tuned for more blogs from Offside counting down the days until Christmas, and be sure to visit welloffside.com and welloffside.photoshelter.com for more information and access to our picture archives.