You haven't even finished picking out your Halloween costume, and Christmas is already ready to go in New Hartford. Are you ready for the distraction, or is it too soon?

It's the middle of August right now, and the fun-size bags of candy have just hit the shelves at some grocery stores. Target doesn't even have the Halloween department ready to go. Back-to-school shopping (whatever that's going to look like this year) has just started.

The 'At Home' store doesn't care that it's 80 degrees today - they've got the Christmas trees out, alongside the last of the summer markdowns. Big trees, little trees, multicolored trees - whatever Christmas tree you happen to be looking for in the middle of August - they've got it.

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Credit: Beth/TSM
Credit: Beth/TSM

Even Christmas decorations are starting to fill the shelves, while one aisle over from Santa, a skeleton dog is hanging out, ready to go home with you in time for Halloween.

Normally, I wouldn't enjoy seeing Christmas trees out so early. It feels like we're rushing the season - but in 2020, nothing is the same. Instead of enjoying fall and the new beginnings that come with the first day of school, most of us are stressed with decisions to make for our kids, financial pressures, and the overall anxiety that has accompanied just about everything lately.

Seeing the trees almost feels hopeful, like a reminder there are better things to come - and that's the whole point of Christmas, isn't it? Maybe this year, Christmas will be less commercial and more meaningful.

In the immortal words of the Grinch: "And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Are you ready for Christmas to show up this year?

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