Only 96 shopping days until Christmas

Get ready, here it comes. I know the calendar says it is still mid-September, but apparently the holiday season has already begun.

I went shopping yesterday, luckily the shelves still have some Halloween costumes and candy corn Ė although it looked a little picked over, after all the Halloween display has been up since July Ė but a couple aisles over there was a display of Christmas trees, gift wrap and stockings. Every year, holiday displays seem to be set up earlier and earlier, and by the time the holidays are actually here, Iím sick of them.

Generally I love the holidays. I get to spend time with my family, and decorate the house, and it just puts me in a better mood, but there has to be a line somewhere. Itís getting to the point where items in the seasonal aisle are not for the season youíre currently in.

In late June, I decided I wanted to buy a kiddie swimming pool for my son. We had a hot summer, and after his day care took a trip to the local community pool, I knew he would enjoy a wading pool of his own. Of course, when I got to the store there were no pools. Back to school supplies (for the kids who had gotten out of school the day before) and Halloween costumes were already lining the shelves.

Now itís September and images of Santa Claus and elves and snow are popping up everywhere. I know the last few mornings have been cold, but frankly Iím not ready to think of snow drifts and sub-zero temperatures without getting a little annoyed.

I can understand why stores would want to get an early start. The earlier Christmas items are on the shelf, the more people will see them Ė and the more people see the items, the greater the chance they will buy it. I can understand it, but that doesnít mean I have to like it.

Maybe itís just my practical nature, but I was always taught to take on things one at a time, so shouldnít we get through one holiday before we start worrying about another? It seems like that is what people want. Isnít that why Black Friday Ė the day after Thanksgiving Ė is the busiest shopping day of the year?

I know thatís what I want to do, but with stores moving items in long before the holiday season starts, and running out of them long before the season ends, it looks like I will just have to buy when they indicate it is time to do so or not get the items I need. So if you see me running around town on a 70 degree September day wearing my warmest winter coat, my Santa hat and carrying bags of decoratively wrapped gifts, youíll know why. Itís because there are only 96 shopping days until Christmas.

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