It was Halloween. My daughter was busy deciding which devil horns to wear with her costume, the ones that light up or the ones attached to a gangster hat. My wife and I were divvying up the Sunday newspaper while making last-minute trick-or-treating meet-up arrangements with friends and their children.

That’s when I saw it.

The Toys “R” Us Christmas shopping catalog.

On Halloween.

Suddenly, all thoughts of dressing up like a fun-loving devil and going door-to-door demanding candy from strangers like a Mafia capo shaking down businesses in exchange for protection — from a trick, that is — went out the window.

In its place were visions of presents under the Christmas tree, a horn a’plenty of toys that would join her two rooms (yes, two) full of the ghosts of holiday toys past. One could almost hear the Zhu Zhu Pets in the basement tearfully singing the Island of Misfit Toys song while my daughter gleefully set about circling half the items in the catalog in preparation for her list to Santa.

Now, I like to celebrate Christmas as much as the next fellow. And I know that retailers still smarting from the recession are trying to squeeze as much moolah as they can out of the make-or-break holiday shopping season.

But give me a break, wouldja?

When I was a kid, there was a definite period between Oct. 31 and Dec. 25. That was when you made little pilgrims and turkeys out of construction paper, learned about Plymouth Rock and new words like “maize” in school, watched the farmers bring the crops in from the fields and begged your mother to buy the mega-sized marshmallows for the yams. You know, preparing for a little day called Thanksgiving.

Now it’s as if the entire month of November is nothing more than a primer for December. It might as well be renamed “Nocember.”

I don’t want to see Santa Claus waving to me when I’m watching Fourth of July fireworks. I don’t want to decorate a fir tree on Labor Day. I don’t want to ride a horse-drawn sleigh, or hear carolers, or jingle any bells, or deck the halls while the maple leaves are still green.

And I certainly don’t want to think about holiday shopping until I’ve almost slipped into a tryptophan-induced food coma while sitting in my recliner watching the cast of “Glee” lip-sync to “Bad Romance” on a Macy’s parade float.

So save your holiday catalogs until Nov. 26, retailers. Or I might be inclined to make this year’s Christmas presents myself and blame you, thus thrusting the righteous anger of an 8-year-old girl in your direction.

Trust me — you don’t want that to happen.

She opted for the gangster hat. 

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at: [email protected]


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