A good many shoppers groaned this week when local stock boys shoved the Halloween costumes aside and started stacking plastic Santa Clauses on the shelves.
Perhaps they longed for those bygone days when storekeepers were in the genteel habit of waiting to peddle their Christmas wares until folks were done enjoying the country's other fall and winter holidays.
Remember the good old days when we were treated to that extra month of anticipation, when business owners were disciplined enough to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to unveil their Christmas merchandise?
Remember the days when businesses were merciful enough to spare us the synthesized mutilations of "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" until just a month before New Years Day?
Store owners, of course, will argue that stocking shelves early and extending the holiday shopping season into October is good for the economy and the only way to compete in today's market.
Maybe, but this mercenary selling strategy has put the Christmas holiday on par with our political campaigns -- events that drag on so long their meanings become obscured.
Bah, humbug to Christmas in October.