I don’t shop. James can attest to that. I buy. I prefer to know what I’m getting, where I’m getting it, and then just getting it and getting out. That’s a lot of getting, but you get the picture. Which is why James is the one doing the grocery shopping and making the bi-weekly run to Target.

And why I had no business being surprised during a recent trip to Target to pick up a few things for the office. I just needed some paper, envelopes, and a few other miscellaneous items. No problem. Pop in. Pop out. Buy not shop. But had I been a regular shopper, I would have been ready for what I was seeing.


Yes, that Christmas. It was November 1st, and I’m standing in the store, looking at all sorts of decorations and cards, wondering what happened to Thanksgiving. Just the day before we’d been handing out candy for Halloween. Was there a time warp somewhere and we skipped over Turkey Day?

James was nice enough to inform me that evening that the Christmas stuff had been up for weeks. Weeks. It hadn’t just appeared overnight, like all the Target employees were waiting until 12:01 a.m. on November 1st to bathe the store in holiday décor. Weeks.

Then like anything you’ve seen once and can’t unsee, I started noticing Christmas everywhere. Everywhere. TV commercials. Window displays. Promos for Hallmark movies. I even had an email from Starbucks letting me know the holiday drinks were back.

But then I got to thinking that maybe everyone is on to something. Maybe starting early isn’t the worst idea. Normally the Sunday James’s parents head home from their Thanksgiving visit, we’re pulling out the decorations, assembling the tree, and getting the wreath on the door. Probably one of the most stressful and chaotic moments of the year, even though I’m always happy with the end result.

So why not start a bit early? Maybe not the tree itself, but there’s plenty of other things we could do. Over the course of 27 years, we’ve collected a multitude of snowmen that we could start sprinkling around the house. I’m sure my friends who put up multiple Christmas trees each year always get a jump start. No reason we can’t do the same.

Except I’m also the person who would love to not have to take the tree down each year. As daunting as getting the tree put together can be, undoing all of that presents as much of a challenge. I have advocated for just leaving it up year-round and changing the ornaments out to reflect whatever holidays or seasons are coming up. But for some reason, James always shoots that down. So perhaps starting early isn’t the best option, or I’ll have us putting Christmas out earlier and earlier.

Or perhaps I need to roll into Starbucks for a peppermint mocha, start taking out the bins of decorations, and accept that Christmas is here whether I’m ready or not. Tis the season after all, or it appears to be. Now I just have to figure out which Hallmark movie to watch.