I’m with Ysenda Maxtone Graham on this one:
The first Sunday of Advent is 27 November this year. For those of us who prefer Advent services to Christmas ones, the earlier the better, frankly. I relish the frisson of gloom, foreboding and fear of judgment you get at Advent, alongside the hope. ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ is all very well, but it’s the minor chord at the end of ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ that I crave.
With Christmas expanding backwards into the early days of December, we must be careful to preserve the distinctive atmosphere of Advent. No ‘Once in Royal’ allowed until you’ve had your fill of ‘O come, O come, Adonaï’. (Which no one is quite sure how to pronounce.)