Dear Retailers:

Let me be direct: can it with the Christmas stuff. I mean it. Put it away.

As I write this, my house is still filled with recently acquired trick-or-treats and Halloween crafts adorn my walls. The leaves on the trees outside my window are gloriously yellow and orange, and I haven’t even thought about placing an order for a Thanksgiving turkey. So, tell me why I have have been seeing Christmas stuff on your shelves for weeks already?
And it’s not even thoughtful stuff like gift ideas for my hard-to-shop-for husband or deals on travel. It’s M&Ms and those weird wicker reindeer with lights on them that people stick in their yards. Stuff no one will need until a month from now at the very earliest.

I know that all this lead time is probably strategically planned out to give people extra weeks during which to impulse buy decorations, and stocking stuffers, candy, candy and more candy. All this during both a recession and an obesity epidemic. Super.

But I’m not actually worried too much about the ill effects of consumer over-indulgence in sugar and credit card debt (well, I am, but only on a macro scale). No, what bothers me is the effect this will have on my 3 year old.

Have you ever explained time to a toddler? They don’t get it. My son’s concept of the past can be encompassed in the phrase “last week.” That’s when he was born, when we went on summer vacation, when he started pre-school. As for the future, well, little kids can cope with today and tomorrow but anything beyond that is an eternity. The concept of “seven weeks from now” does not compute.

So, the fact that stores we commonly go to have started decking their halls is going to cause great confusion in my little guy. The appearance of Christmas stuff should mean Christmas is imminent; no more than 25 days away, able to be measured in an advent calendar. He will not understand that he has nearly two months before Santa will be arriving. He will feel teased and frustrated and ask me over and over and over when Christmas is coming.

And then when Christmas finally comes? After eight weeks of escalating cheer? Will it even seem special? Or will the shine be off the holly berry after all the weeks of ho-ho-hoing?

So for the sake of little kids everywhere, save Christmas for December, OK? All this extended holiday garbage is just too much and you risk giving us all Christmas fatigue.